Black-billed cuckoos breed through out much of the eastern half of the United States and southeastern Canada. They prefer woody areas, typically building their nest in deciduous trees or shrubs usually fairly close to the ground. Black-billed cuckoos migrate down to northwestern parts of South America for the winter.
Black-billed cuckoos are insect eaters. They eat a variety of larger insects which they glean from trees and shrubs. They particularly prefer large caterpillars. They will often knock caterpillars against branches to dislodge their spines before they eat them. They are not always successful and end up with spines lodged in their stomach. To counter this they will shed their stomach lining to get rid of excess spines.