Year of the Cuckoo

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Kalbo Kym
Kalbo Kym's picture
Year of the Cuckoo

In the 5+ years of living on the Atherton Tablelands I have observed a large number of different bird species in / over / near my yard. 

This year, for first time there have been cuckoos, three different species !! 

At the end of April the Oriental Cuckoo showed up, stayed in the area for10 days or so, ate lots of hairy caterpillars (good), then left.

At the end of May, a Little Bronze - Cuckoo landed on a tree near my porch, pulled a bug / grub out of the tree and flew away.      (no pic)

And yesterday a Fan - tailed Cuckoo came along and sat in the tree.  I'ts still here today.

So I wonder why this year have I seen three different cuckoos ??

Does anybody else have sightings or pics of cuckoos this year ???

dwatsonbb's picture

Great photos. Haven't much information on Cuckoos, maybe your just lucky.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818's picture

I have only seen a couple this past year so cannot say much about the numbers but will post when back at the computer. Love to see an Oriental Cuckoo, lucky you!

Woko's picture

Hi there Kalbo. I sometimes share your thoughts that the world has gone cuckoo!

Be that as it may, I don't know a lot about cuckoos but from what I've gleaned over the years I get the impression that the Atherton Tablelands are part of the flyway for several cuckoo species migrating south/north so you're probably in a great location to see these birds.

Why you've had to wait 5 years to see these 3 cuckoo species is interesting to contemplate but I wonder if it has anything to do with the maturity of your habitat, particularly those native grasses, trees & shrubs which might support caterpillars. If the habitat in your area was planted some years ago it might now be getting to the stage where it can support a greater range of bird species, including the cuckoos. Information about the nature of your garden & the surrounding area might provide a clue as to why you're only now seeing 3 cuckoo species. 

sue818's picture

I have seen two this year in different places but have not seen or heard any near home this year. Woko's comments may be the answer you seek.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo seen near West Wyalong in NSW

Pallid Cuckoo seen near Cunnamulla in QLD

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