The western populations of yellow-billed cuckoo are proposed to be listed as “threatened” to the federal list under the Endangered Species Act. The yellow-billed cuckoo primarily resides in riparian forests, which have been threatened by diminishing available habitat.
Populations have been declining for decades, and biologists estimate that 90% of the yellow-billed cuckoo’s habitat has been degraded or lost. With a wide variety of factors cited, current scientific evidence supports this proposed listing. As stated by Elizabeth Materna of US Fish and Wildlife Service, “Current occurrence of the yellow-billed cuckoo in Oregon is relatively rare, primarily along the Sandy River delta near its confluence with the Columbia River.”
Since the Sandy River Delta is a primary habitat stronghold for the yellow-billed cuckoo, restoration efforts are necessary to maintain the riparian forests. This bird breeds only in dense cottonwood and willow stands in river floodplains. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, declining forest along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers have increased pressure on this rare species, and the last confirmed breeding records within Oregon are from the 1940’s.
Our restoration efforts at the Sandy River Delta may play a crucial role in the maintenance and recovery of this species threatened by loss of habitat. To learn more about our work at the Delta, visit our Current Projects page. For more information on the proposed federal listing, read the press release, learn more about this species, or hear a bird call.