River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

Home » Resources » Riparian Ecology » Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat » Restoration Planting Design: Creating Wildlife Habitat » Design for the Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Design for the Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) is an endangered neotropical migratory bird that nests and forages exclusively in riparian habitats in the western United States. While the vegetative communities that cuckoos utilize have regional variation in their species composition, nesting sites typically occur in areas that provide dense vegetative cover that camouflage the nest. Along the Sacramento River, cuckoos tend to occur in areas of high canopy closure (>75%), and with an extensive midstory, including arroyo willow, blue elderberry, and box elder. The primary canopy of cuckoo habitat along the Sacramento River is dominated by Fremont Cottonwood but also includes Western sycamore, black willow, and valley oak. Restoration that aims to create habitat for cuckoos should include primary and secondary canopy species.

Yellow-billed cuckoo planting design

(Above) Yellow-billed cuckoo planting design