This special bird, and I never tire of seeing one, is the Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). These birds are typically heard, but not seen. Their staccato clatter, slowing as the call ends, is the trademark call of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. And that's as close as many get to seeing this beautiful bird. However, sitting quietly in the kayak, I have had several close encounters when one flies into a tree, directly above or near where I am sitting. Here are a few of my favorite images that I've captured from the kayak, of this secretive bird.
In these first 2 images, you can clearly see two of the main identifying marks of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, the yellow, slightly down-curved bill and the large, white spots that appear on the underneath side of the cuckoo's long tail:
Looking from the topside, you can see the "rusty red wash" of the wings, which, by the way, is obvious in flight, too:
This post was authored by Jim Braswell of Show-Me Nature Photography.