A good way to get a look at them:
You can call in Black-billed (and for that matter, Yellow-billed) Cuckoos
with a reasonably good imitation of their song: a somewhat hollow whistle
that sounds like a rapid "Coo-coo-coo" repeated three or four times. The
Yellow-billed is just the one note: slower, hollow and descending, repeated
several times. It really works. They are suckers for the sound.
Try it. But, be sure to let the little guy win. Stop soon and go away. Let
him be king of the hill.
They also are responsive to imitated whistles of the Screech Owl whistles.
The Greene County
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From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Martha
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2012 4:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VTBIRD] Black-billed Cuckoo---a slightly funny story
Bill is an early riser. I struggle to get up...not a good trait for a
wanna-be-birder! But Bill gets up at 5:00 to walk every morning before work
and, when he has enough dynamite to rouse me, I join him. On Tuesday, he
ran in from a solo trip to tell me about a new and different bird he had
seen and heard. After some searching of the bird book and listening to All
About Birds, he decided that it was a Black-billed Cuckoo.
I got up with him on Wednesday. No sight and no sound from the Cuckoo.
Thursday, I slept and Bill went out with the binoculars. Sure enough, a
clear view that confirmed the Cuckoo.
Friday, I joined him. You guessed it....no sight nor sound of the Cuckoo.
I was beginning to suspect a giant hoax to get me out of bed! But I got up
with him today and heard its unmistakable song! Unfortunately, it came from
the far side of a field so I did not see it. On the other hand, I will keep
getting up until I can add that the BB Cuckoo to my life list.