Yellow-billed cuckoo

Coccyzus americanus

Spend several minutes staring into a local dense thicket and you may notice something that looks like a snake crawling deep within the branches.

It very well may be a yellow-billed cuckoo — one of Kansas' most common birds you'll seldom see.

Yellow bills are creatures of dense woodlands and thickets where they feed on caterpillars and other insects.

Locally, the densest regions of Pawnee Prairie and Chisholm Creek Parks are ideal places. Their "kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-cow-cow" call is a dead giveaway that they're around.

In a few weeks you'll have to travel far to hear their song. Most yellow-billed cuckoos spend their winters in Brazil.