Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoos

The Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi) is a large terrestrial species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family.

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.

As other species in the genus Neomorphus, the Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoo is generally highly inconspicious and infrequently seen. While overall unlikely to be threatened due ot its large range, one subspecies, maximiliani (from Bahia, Brazil), may be extinct, and another, dulcis (from Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, Brazil), is very rare and likely to be threatened. The subspecies vary primarily in the details of the chest- and crown-pattern, and the colour of the tail and wings.


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.

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