Bird Families

Piaya cayana

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Piaia (lat. Piaya) - a small genus of relatively large and long-tailed cuckoos that live in Mexico, Central America and South America.

Description and ecology

These birds have relatively slender, slender bodies, long tails, and strong legs. Black-bellied piaya is strictly limited to tropical rainforests, and the more widespread long-tailed cuckoo is also found in other types of forest, woodlands and mangroves.

Piayas, unlike many Old World cuckoos, are not nest parasites; they build their own nests in trees and lay a clutch of two eggs. Cuckoos, nesting parasites, lay colored eggs that correspond in color to the eggs of their nesting hosts from the order Passeriformes, but not parasitic Piaya, like most other non-passerines, lay white eggs.

These are vociferous birds characterized by their constant and loud cries. They feed on large insects such as cicadas, wasps and caterpillars (including those with poisonous hairs that are inedible to most birds). The black-bellied piya and long-tailed cuckoo are large and powerful birds, and sometimes hunt small vertebrates such as small lizards.

Genus composition

The two species in taxonomic order are:

Small piaya (Coccycua minuta), which was considered close to this genus, previously belonged to Coccyzus or Micrococcyx, is now again separated from the genus Piaya and transferred to the genus Coccycua.

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