Re: Shining B-Cuckoo behaviour

To: "Robert Quinan" <>, "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Re: Shining B-Cuckoo behaviour
From: "Trevor Hampel" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 21:01:38 +0930
The Grey Shrike Thrush in our garden regularly kill and eat caterpillers in
this way. Our resident Australian Magpies also do to same as well as wiping
the fluffier caterpillers on the gravel in our driveway.

Trevor Hampel
Murray Bridge
South Australia

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Quinan <>
To: Birding-Aus <>
Date: Friday, 14 August 1998 23:11
Subject: Shining B-Cuckoo behaviour

>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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