|Cuban Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus merlini
(aka Great Lizard Cuckoo, Saurothera merlini)
The Cuban Lizard-cuckoo is distributed in Cuba and the Bahamas and is found in a variety of forested and wooded areas.
It is large at ½ a metre (20 inches) and is olive-brown above while below the light grey breast changes to buff and rufous on the belly. The tail is very long and patterned black and white below. The bare eye-ring is orange to red and the bill is long, decurved and blue-grey.
There are 3 sub-species on Cuba. These photos are of the nominate sub-species except for photo 3 which is of S. m. santamariae found on the island off north-central Cuba. It is smaller, paler and has a longer bill than the nominate.
|It feeds on lizards, insects, frogs, snakes and birds eggs and nestlings.
According to Jobling, the alternative scientific name derives from sauros = a lizard; thera = a hunter and merlini after the Spanish writer and musician, Condesa Mercedes Jaruco de Merlin (1788–1852) so nothing to do with King Arthur!