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Guirakuckuck Guira guira

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Cuculiformes

Familia: Cuculidae
Genus: Guira
Species: Guira guira

Guira guira (Gmelin, 1788)

Cuculus guira (protonym)


Gmelin, J.F. 1788. Caroli a Linné systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima tertia, aucta, reformata. - pp. i-xii, 1-500. Lipsiae. (Beer). DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.545 Original description p. 414 BHL Reference page.

Vernacular names
čeština: Kukačka guira
English: Guira Cuckoo
español: Pirincho
português: Anu-branco
Türkçe: Guira

The guira cuckoo (Guira guira) is a gregarious bird found widely in open and semi-open habitats of eastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northeastern Argentina.


One of only four species within the subfamily Crotophaginae of the cuckoo family Cuculidae, G. guira is also the only species within the genus Guira. The genus and specific parts of the name both come from the Guaraní word "güirá" meaning "bird".[2]

It is a rather scruffy-looking bird, with a total length of approximately 34 cm (13 in).[3] The sexes are very similar in appearance, except that the female is slightly larger than the male. Juveniles appear quite similar to adults.

The species has dark brown upperparts streaked with white, and whitish-buff throat, breast, underparts and rump. The tail is relatively long and broad, dark brown in color with a white-tip, and the legs are dark gray. The eyes and beak are yellow to orange, with a thin ring of featherless yellow skin around the eye (this commonly fades in captivity). There is a prominent orange-rufous crest.

Like other members of the subfamily Crotophaginae, the guira cuckoo gives off a strong, pungent odour.[4]

The guira cuckoo is a bird of open habitats such as pastures and wetlands, and its range has expanded significantly due to deforestation. Within its distribution, it is commonly seen in suburban parks and gardens. Like the related squirrel cuckoo, the guira cuckoo is not a particularly adept flier, and usually flies only for short distances. It is often seen gliding or hopping from one perch to another while vocalizating loudly. The bird's call is unmistakable for being long and shrill, something between a long whistle and a wailing.

Although it is primarily an arboreal bird, it is often seen foraging on the ground, sometimes alone but often in flocks of up to 18 individuals. It is sometimes seen with other birds whose behaviour is similar, such as the smooth-billed ani. Unlike many of the Old World cuckoos, the guira cuckoo does not practice brood parasitism or kleptoparasitism.
Guira cuckoo (Guira guira) with a captured frog. Tacuaras, Ñeembucú Department, Paraguay.

The guira cuckoo is an opportunistic predator, gathering small prey items on the ground or searching for them among branches. It feeds on worms, insects and other arthropods, tadpoles and frogs, eggs, small birds (especially nestlings) and small mammals such as mice.[5] It also has been observed feeding on lizards.[6]
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

The nest is built on a tree fork 2 to 5 m (6.6 to 16.4 ft) from the ground. The eggs (from 5 to 7) are dark green and covered with a chalky layer. They are incubated either in individual or community nests; in the latter one can find up to 20 eggs. Under community nests there are many broken eggs. The competition between young being great, mortality is significant.

BirdLife International (2016). "Guira guira". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22684441A93030022. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22684441A93030022.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Payne RB (1997). "Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira)". p. 603. In: del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J (editors). (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
Robert B. Payne; Michael D. Sorenson; Karen Klitz (2005). The Cuckoos: Cuculidae. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-19-850213-3.
José Felipe Monteiro Pereira (2008). Aves e Pássaros Comuns do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Technical Books. ISBN 978-85-61368-00-5. p. 71.
Bernarde, Paulo Sérgio; Mota da Silva, Ageane; Recoder, Renato (2016). "Predation on the lizard Pantodactylus parkeri Ruibal, 1952 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmodae) by Guira guira (Aves, Cuculidae) in the Pantanal at Pocone, Western Brazil". Herpetology Notes 9: 279-281.

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