THE SQUIRREL CUCKOO
ALMA-DE-GATO (AS KNOWN IN BRAZIL)
The Squirrel Cuckoo is a beautiful and enigmatic bird with red irises and a yellow beak. It features iron-colored plumage on its upper parts, a grayish chest, and a dark belly. Measuring about 19 inches in length, it has an exceptionally large tail that makes it unmistakable.
Known in Brazil as chincoã and alma-de-gato referencing its vocalization and stealthy behavior resembling that of felines. It mimics the alert calls of birds like the Great Kiskadee and the Short-crested Flycatcher to capture its prey. Its diet mainly consists of insects, especially caterpillars, which it hunts by examining leaves. It also feeds on fruits and eggs of different bird species.
The Squirrel Cuckoo can be found throughout Brazil. Despite its size, it moves discreetly, inhabiting riparian forests, shrublands, parks, and wooded areas in cities. It's usually solitary or in pairs, and its ability to glide is facilitated by the presence of two tails, an inner and an outer one, allowing it to move with ease.