Rufous-vented ground cuckoo

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Rufous-vented ground cuckoo
Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Neomorphus
N. geoffroyi
Binomial name
Neomorphus geoffroyi
(Temminck, 1820)

The rufous-vented ground cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi) is a large terrestrial species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is found in humid primary forests from southern Nicaragua, through Costa Rica and Panama, into north-western Colombia. Another population occurs in the western and southern Amazon Basin of south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, northern Bolivia and Brazil, while a final population occurs in the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil. Much confusion exists over the exact limits of its distribution in the south-central Amazon, where the very similar scaled ground cuckoo occurs (the breast-markings typically used to separate the scaled and the rufous-vented ground cuckoos are known to vary clinally). Consequently, the scaled ground cuckoo has often been considered a subspecies of the rufous-vented ground cuckoo.[2]


The rufous-vented ground cuckoo is a large ground-dwelling bird with sturdy legs and a long tail. It has a brown head, greenish-brown crest and curved beak. The upper parts and tail are dark with a greenish, bluish or purplish iridescence, and the underparts are whitish to pale tan. The subspecies vary primarily in the details of the chest—and crown—pattern, and the colour of the tail and wings.[2] There is extensive variation in the dark chest band, which hinders easy separation from the scaled ground cuckoo. Consequently, the latter is commonly regarded as a subspecies of the former.[3][4]


As other species in the genus Neomorphus, the rufous-vented ground cuckoo is generally highly inconspicuous and infrequently seen. While overall unlikely to be threatened due to its large range, one subspecies, the nominate (from Bahia, Brazil; syn. maximiliani[5]), may be extinct, and another, dulcis (from Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, Brazil), is very rare and likely to be threatened.[2][3][4] The remaining subspecies are salvini of Central America and northwestern Colombia, aequatorialis of the northwestern Amazon Basin, australis of the southwestern Amazon Basin, and amazonicus of the southeastern Amazon Basin.[2][3][4][5]

Overall, the rufous-vented ground cuckoo is listed by the IUCN as being of "vulnerable". Apart from habitat degradation, no particular threats have been identified and the bird has a wide range and presumed large population. The population trend is likely to be downward but not at such a rate as to justify putting this bird in a more threatened category.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Neomorphus geoffroyi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T62144610A95189833. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T62144610A95189833.en. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Payne, R.B. (1997). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (eds.). Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 606–607. ISBN 84-87334-22-9.
  3. ^ a b c Erritzøe, Johannes; Mann, Clive F.; Brammer, Frederik; Fuller, Richard A. (2012). Cuckoos of the World. Helm Identification Guides. Christopher Helm. ISBN 978-0713660340.
  4. ^ a b c Payne, Robert B.; Klitz, Karen (2005). The Cuckoos. Bird Families of the World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198502135.
  5. ^ a b Raposo, Marcos A.; Simon, José Eduardo; Teixeira, Dante Martins (2009). "Correction of the type locality of Neomorphus geoffroyi (Temminck, 1820), with lectotype designation". Zootaxa (2176): 65–68. ISSN 1175-5326.
  6. ^ "Species factsheet: Neomorphus geoffroyi". BirdLife International. Retrieved 2013-12-18.

External links

  • "Rufous-vented ground-cuckoo media". Internet Bird Collection.
  • Rufous-vented ground-cuckoo photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
  • Rufous-vented ground-cuckoo species account at Neotropical Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  • Interactive range map of Neomorphus geoffroyi at IUCN Red List maps
  • Audio recordings of Rufous-vented ground cuckoo on Xeno-canto.
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