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Guira Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by gaviao-real
Ilha de Marajó, Brazil, July 2007

Alternative name: White Ani

Guira guira


Photo © by Garrulous Jay
Rio Negro Department, Uruguay, February 2017

36-42 cm (14¼-16½ in). A shaggy-looking cuckoo.

  • Short orange-rufous crest
  • Striped brown on throat and breast
  • Yellow bare facial skin
  • Orange to yellow bill and eye
  • White-streaked brown back and wings, white lower back
  • Blackish tail with broad whitish lateral area at base and at tip, all dark central rectrices except at base
  • Whitish underparts

Juveniles with small white spots on tips of remiges, black and white bill and light grey eye


South America: found in north-eastern Brazil to Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and central Argentina.
Common in most of its range. Has extended its range with deforestation.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Found in a wide variety of habitats from tropical semidecidous forest at an elevation of ca. 2 m (6.6 ft) down through open woodland,marshes, fields savanna, city gardens and parks and coastal woodland. From sea-level up to 1200m.


Photo © by Celso Paris
Sorocaba, SP, SE Brazil, November 2019

A group-living species. During breeding season the groups split into pairs.


Feeds on insects (grasshoppers, cicadas, termites) and spiders, frogs, lizards and snakes. Takes also eggs and nestlings of small birds. A gregarious species, feeding on the ground in flocks of up to 20 birds.


Breeding season in Brazil mainly August to November, some breed also in the dry months from May to August. November to December in Uruguay and Argentina. The nest is a large open platform made of sticks and placed high in a thorny tree. Often reuses old nest from previous season. Lays sometimes in nests of other species, including anis and may incubate with the anis. Often several females lay in one nest, average 10 eggs in a group nest.


A resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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