Channel-Billed Cuckoos Just Killed 3 The Pied Currawong Chicks

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BirdieNumNum's picture
Channel-Billed Cuckoos Just Killed 3 The Pied Currawong Chicks

A pied currawongs built a nest in the tree right outside my bedroom balcony and I slowly fell in love with her over weeks as I watched her build her nest, saw the babies hatch and at how attentive she was. Her mate would bring her food whenever she called for him. She had 3 chicks.

This morning at 6:30am, I woke up to horrible screeching sounds and to what sounded like 50 birds in distress. I ran outside to the balcony and I saw 3 channel-billed cuckoos above the nest fighting over something. The cuckoos had killed 2 of the chicks but there was one remaining. What ensued was 8 hours of the cuckoos trying to come back to the nest to kill the last remaining chick. I sat outside on the balcony for the whole day and scared them with brooms and mops and within a couple of hours, they would be back again. 

I had to step inside for 30 mins for a meeting in the afternoon and within that time, they came and killed the last chick. I cried for hours.

I never saw the cuckoos lay an egg in the nest but the currawong is now back in her nest sitting there despite all of her babies being killed. I suspect this devil laid an egg in her nest.

What do I do? Do I let my poor currawong raise this devil bird?

dwatsonbb's picture

As sad and as hard as it is, the Channel Billed Cucckoos are ensuring the survival of there species. This has been going on long before suburbia came along, and I hope will continue past my time on this earth.

it is Mother Nature doing her thing. Just feel lucky in some way, that you were able to view this event, and observe and enjoy the antics of a mother feeding her adopted child.

Your reaction is fairly common, and normal. Thanks for caring, and I wish you and your extended bird family well.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Woko's picture

I can appreciate your strong emotional attachment to the Currawongs, BirdieNumNum, but I very much identify with what Dale has posted. 

Humans have a huge propensity to project their feelings onto other creatures displaying what we as humans believe are desirable characteristics such as care for young. Anything which disrupts these desirable characteristics evoke grief, anger, sorrow, distress in us. However, if we can look past the immediate situation & look for the role that the distressing behaviour plays in the wonderful, natural scheme of things then we can begin to sense the awe in nature & the amazing processes which exist in all ecologies.

Awe & wonder & curiosity are all feelings & characteristics of humans, too. If we can raise our eyes to the broad sweep of the natural world we can then appreciate how much we need to act to protect & restore it before it all disappears under the horrific weight of human intervention & exploitation.

BirdieNumNum, you would do well to avoid intervening in what is a natural process aeons in the making. Sit, observe, learn & delight in the natural world. The richness of the experience can be amazing & your caring for nature's creatures will be broad & well-founded. 

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