Bird type

Asked September 2, 2019, 11:48 AM EDT

What kind of baby is this?

Branch County Michigan

1 Response

This appears to be a juvenile and molting cuckoo. Normally these birds have long tails, but this bird appears to be in the process of growing new ones. Many songbirds shed their old feathers and grow new ones this time of year before beginning their migration south to their winter grounds. Also some juvenile birds may still be growing out their adult feathers.

There are two species of cuckoo found in Michigan, Black-billed and Yellow-billed. Yellow-billed is slightly more expected in very southern Michigan, although both are possible. Given the slight bit of lighter coloring at the base of the bill, along with the stark white throat, this bird is most likely a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. You can learn more about them at the link below. https://ebird.org/species/yebcuc

Bird on!