Government designates yellow-billed cuckoo a threatened species

The federal government has designated the yellow-billed cuckoo a threatened species.

The bird lives part time in the western United States and has a large presence in southern Arizona, where U.S. Fish and Wildlife is hoping to designate one of its homes as a critical habitat.

The yellow-billed cuckoo has dwindled in population over the past several decades because of changes to its habitat. There are about 350 to 495 pairs in the United States, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

The threatened species designation gives the bird special protections under the Endangered Species Act. The designation takes effect on Nov. 3.