Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Rain Crow)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo With Worm

Yellow-billed Cuckoo With Insect

I hear the Rain Crow often while I’m outdoors, but this bird has been very difficult for me to photograph. They mainly forage in dense shrubs and trees. The above photo is actually a young Rain Crow that was being fed by the mother.

Another Photo I took of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo: The Bird That Predicts Thunderstorms

These photos were taken at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

This entry was posted in Birds and tagged , .


  1. Dawn Fine June 26, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Wonderful photos as usual! what kind of bug in the second photo?

  2. Stephen Ingraham June 27, 2009 at 6:00 am #

    These guys are hard to see, let alone photograph. Well done!

  3. kriz cpec June 29, 2009 at 3:32 am #

    Well captured, congrats.

  4. Roger D. Malone July 18, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Excellent photograph of the rain crow, I have never seen a picture of one before now.

  5. Bobbie & Bill of Cumming, Georgia August 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    G-R-E-A-T pictures of the Rain Crow. We hear them all the time while sitting on our deck. Bill said, “I just wish I could see a Rain Crow at least one time.” So, I googled rain crow, and your photoblog came up. Thanks for such detailed pictures. Wonderful work capturing the magnificant RAIN CROW. We now know what the Rain Crow looks like. Thanks, to you!

  6. LeeAnn September 7, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    I have been watching birds for a few years and never saw this bird in my backyard until yesterday. I was so elated. These pics are great. Thank you.

  7. Alice Permenter January 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    These are wonderful photos. Would you give permission for me to use the top photo in an article I have written on the need for native plants that support insects in our landscape? I mention the yellow billed cuckoo in the article. I am a Master Gardener and volunteer to write a monthly gardening column in a free publication.

  8. Steve Creek January 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Alice, I sent it to you via email.

  9. Mindy August 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Just discovered a yellow-billed cuckoo nest in my live oak tree. I have heard “rain crows” all my life and most people think you are nuts when you say that you heard a rain crow. Never knew they were cuckoos then and certainly never saw one until today! I was watering out under the tree and I heard the call and looked up to see him/her just hanging out making the call, then I discovered why it was hanging around. So excited to see the nest and the cuckoo sitting on it!

  10. Steve Creek August 15, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Mindy, You are so lucky to have a nest. This is one of the most difficult birds for me to photograph.

  11. Kenneth Prillaman September 19, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    I live in Va. How far away can you generally hear this bird? Does he hoot in the winter and fall time?

  12. Steve Creek September 19, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    I can hear them from over 100 yards away. They migrate south so I don’t see or hear them in the fall or winter here in Arkansas. Here is what one sounds like:

  13. Tim Templeton June 30, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    The first time I heard a “rain crow” was near Waxahatchie, Texas about 1978. The elderly man whose house I was roofing, called it a rain crow, and claimed it would soon rain because it was calling. I have always been fascinated with them and have never been able to see one. It’s possible to confuse them with mockingbirds from a distance, I would think. They seem to stay well hidden in dense shrubbery, such as the thick elderberry bushes in my backyard here in Red River County, Texas. I hear them most in the hottest, driest weather. The rain prediction story is just a wishful legend.

  14. Miguel Trujillo September 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Steve I got here doing some research in this bird, I was lucky to take 6 shots at one last August 30, right at 7:20 AM, in Ozark, Arkansas about six miles from Arkansas River. It’s this bird really that rare that so many people never seen one? I been doing Bird photography for less than a year and already have one so I guess I can say that is a bless.

  15. Miguel Trujillo September 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Nice shots BTW

  16. Steve Creek September 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    They are not rare but very difficult to get a good photo of one. Great that you were able to make a photo of one.