En Paco´s Reserva Natural de Flora y Fauna Silvestre
23 July 2015: Observed a single Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) perched up a tree branch at Elm Fork Park, Greenbelt Corridor, Lake Ray Roberts/Lake Lewisville State Park, Access Area FM 455, Denton County, Texas (between Pilot Point and Sanger, Texas).
This was my first observation in the wild of this bird and the first time I've observed the Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Elm Fork Park. The bird was perched a distance away which explains the digital image. And it only gave me opportunity to take but two digital frames before flying off thus living up to its reported secretive nature. Among the insects they prefer to eat are cicadas and there were plenty of cicadas at Elm Fork Park loudly announcing their presence. Hundreds of dragonflies were flying as well in the area where this bird was sighted.
Mark Lockwood of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department prepared a "Birds of Ray Roberts Lake State Park: A Field Checklist" (January 2010) that's available online here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4503_0137u.pdf . Lockwood determined that the Yellow-billed Cuckoo is "common" at this site during spring, summer and fall.
The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is a true migrant and bird of the Americas, an American bird writ large, since it occurs from the most southeastern corner of Canada's provinces and on into or across the eastern half of the United States (with reduced presence in specific sites of various states in the US West). The bird's extensive wintering migration ranges widely continuing into Mexico through Texas primarily (where this bird is presumably found throughout the entire state) and Central and South America as far as the northern reaches of Argentina. The only country in South America where the Yellow-billed Cuckoo reportedly does not fly is Chile. The Caribbean island nations are also home for the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. This bird is native to most countries in the Western Hemisphere. In Texas, it is generally present from April to October, though it is considered to be far less common west of Central Texas.
In the United States its presence in the West and to a lesser but notable extent in the East has been declining for decades. During the first half of the 20th century the Yellow-billed Cuckoo disappeared entirely from the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada's far Southwest (British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon).
Elm Fork Park is administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Sources: All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, Texas Breeding Bird Atlas, and Wikipedia.
This Yellow-billed Cuckoo was enjoying a snack at the San Angelo State Park bird room.
DOR adult on SH 16 at Hog Creek crossing, north of Desdemona. Species verification by amount of white in tail on mangled specimen, not salvaged.
While performing Yellow-billed cuckoo surveys on the property I manage, I heard and saw this bird fly to the point after playback. He was very curious, and came with a few meters but was very elusive, shielding himself behind the branches of a mesquite tree. The cicadas were not very active today, but I'm sure there were plenty for foraging.