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Red-billed Ground Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Neomorphus pucheranii


43 - 51cm.

  • Green-glossed upperparts
  • Black crest with purple gloss
  • Rufous wings with black outer primaries, glossed violet
  • Green-glossed purplish black tail
  • Grey throat
  • Scaled black breast with black breastband
  • Buffy to light grey belly
  • Red bare skin on face, blue behind the eye
  • Red bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a loose-webbed plumage, unglossed brown above, dark brown wings, a brown belly and a blackish throat and breast.


Found in eastern Peru and western Brazil. Records also in southern Colombia and eastern Ecuador.
A rare and little known species.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • N. p. pucheranii in Amazonian Peru and western Brazil north or the river Amazon
  • N. p. lepidophanes in Amazonian Peru and western Brazil south or the river Amazon

The described subspecies napensis is usually included in the nominate subspecies.
Forms a superspecies with Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo.


Subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Excusively found in terra firme forest with 20 - 25m high canopy. Occurs from lowlands up to 700m.


A terrestrial bird, often seen with army ant swarms, eating exposed insects and small vertebrates as well as fruits. Probably also associates with peccaries.
Few data about breeding. Presumably a non-parasitic species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. 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

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