Home range and use of habitat of western yellow-billed cuckoos on the middle Rio Grande, New Mexico

Southwestern Naturalist
By: , and 



The western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis) is a Distinct Population Segment that has been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act, yet very little is known about its spatial use on the breeding grounds. We implemented a study, using radio telemetry, of home range and use of habitat for breeding cuckoos along the Middle Rio Grande in central New Mexico in 2007 and 2008. Nine of 13 cuckoos were tracked for sufficient time to generate estimates of home range. Overall size of home ranges for the 2 years was 91 ha for a minimum-convex-polygon estimate and 62 ha for a 95%-kernel-home-range estimate. Home ranges varied considerably among individuals, highlighting variability in spatial use by cuckoos. Additionally, use of habitat differed between core areas and overall home ranges, but the differences were nonsignificant. Home ranges calculated for western yellow-billed cuckoos on the Middle Rio Grande are larger than those in other southwestern riparian areas. Based on calculated home ranges and availability of riparian habitat in the study area, we estimate that the study area is capable of supporting 82-99 nonoverlapping home ranges of cuckoos. Spatial data from this study should contribute to the understanding of the requirements of area and habitat of this species for management of resources and help facilitate recovery if a listing occurs.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Home range and use of habitat of western yellow-billed cuckoos on the middle Rio Grande, New Mexico
Series title Southwestern Naturalist
DOI 10.1894/0038-4909-58.4.411
Volume 58
Issue 4
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Publisher location Dallas, TX
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 411
Last page 419
Country United States
State New Mexico
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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