Its namesake has given it a bad name, so let me pass on the American Cuckoo's real nature. It's rather sweet. All us birders are a little cuckoo, anyway.
The picture was taken in Florida on a birding trip, well described in Bird Watchers Digest.
Our American cuckoos are wholly unlike their European and African cousins in most respects. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a California variety of it, the Black-billed Cuckoo, and two species which range as far north as southern Florida, are not hawklike but resemble a slender pigeon with a longer neck and tail. Like most birds, they almost always build their own nests and faithfully rear their young. Other American members of this peculiar family are the Road-runner or Ground
Cuckoos, and the black Ani, or Tick Bird, found in southern Texas.