Shining B-Cuckoo behaviour

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Shining B-Cuckoo behaviour
From: Robert Quinan <>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 22:10:24 +1000
Hi all.

Just a quick note about an interesting behaviour I observed whilst doing
the Regent He and Swift Parrot survey last weekend.  Nothing flowering
where I was so birds of any kind were scarce.  No RH or SP,

But I chanced to come across a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo just as it caught a
large caterpiller.  The grub (easier to type!) was way too large for the
cuckoo to eat and I watched as it proceeded to solve this annoying

Firstly the cuckoo squeezed the grub at various points along its body,
forcing unidentifiable innards to be expelled.  Not satisfied that this
was sufficient, it gripped the grub and wiped it against both sides of
the branch it was on, thereby crushing the body at the 2 points where it
protruded from its bill.  The cuckoo then changed the position of the
grub in its bill and repeated wiping it against the branch.  It
continued to move the grub in its bill and squash new sections of the
grub for about 10 minutes.  I watched entranced as the fat grub was
crushed to a more tractable size.  Finally satisfied, the cuckoo
swallowed the caterpiller.

A delightful interlude in a rather dismal morning!

Bye for now.


Robert Quinan

Central Coast, NSW, Australia


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