Yellow-billed Cuckoo (DEAD) - University Heights

Justyn Stahl

Nathan French forwarded me a photo taken in University Heights of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo posted on the Nextdoor app yesterday (14 October 2021). It appears to have been another window strike, and again, rather late. Nathan left Phil's contact info for the user, so hopefully the specimen can be salvaged. Curiously, this falls within 4 days of the record below by David Trissel, below for context, from 2020.

Justyn Stahl

On Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 4:39 PM Philip Unitt <unitt@...> wrote:
Dear friends,

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo specimen is now safely in my freezer; I can prepare it tomorrow. Amazing that this is our second Yellow-billed Cuckoo specimen from San Diego County this year. The date is remarkably late; to the best of my knowledge the previous latest date for a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in San Diego County is only 23 August. In a search at I find only one later California specimen, one that struck a window in Arcata on 10 November 1963 and is now in the Museum of Southwestern Biology in Albuquerque. By this date in 2011, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo fitted with a geolocator along the Colorado River that summer was on its migration, passing through the Caribbean (

Why has the pace of Yellow-billed Cuckoo specimens surged? This is our fourth from southern California in the past four years. All have been window strikes.

Thanks very much to David Trissel for getting me this specimen so quickly.

Good birding,


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of David Trissel
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:14 PM
To: SanDiegoRegionBirding <>
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Yellow-billed Cuckoo (DEAD) - Carmel Valley

I came back from birding this morning and found a dead Yellow-billed Cuckoo on my back patio. This is in Carmel Valley. I put the bird on ice and emailed Phil Unitt to see if anyone wants it. Photos can be provided if you email me directly.

Side notes: Robb Field had the Buff-breasted Sandpiper in the field south of the tennis courts at 8:00, in with the Killdeer and Black-bellied Plovers.

The Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, and Little Blue Heron were all in the channel at 9:00, with the Tricolored and Little Blue in front of the western ball field. No sign of the Grasshopper Sparrow or Chestnut-collared Longspurs, although admittedly I didn’t really try for them very hard.

David Trissel
San Diego, CA

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