I hope you get some definitive replies although there hasn't been much
work (published) done on Channel-bills. Do you happen to know if you can
reliably ID juvenile birds using Binocs? If so, obviously, this is the
way to do it.
Your questions is particularly interesting because Channel-bill cuckoos
are migratory...which gives at least a dual purpose to forming
post-breeding flocks: 1) first year birds follow adults back to
over-wingering ground 2) young flock to help find food, etc. In both
scenarios, the presence of adult would be highly benefical...therefore I
would reason that the flocks are comprise of mixed ages. Good luck with
Dr. Wm. James Davis, Editor
Interpretive Birding Bulletin
On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Jill Dening wrote:
> An incredulous report to me from a fellow birder, who had seen flocking
> Channel-billed Cuckoos (CBCU), prompts this posting. The observation
> occurred in Rockhampton, as did another, by a different observer, in late
> January. The first time I saw it myself, I have to admit, I was so amazed
> that I didn't report it, expecting no one to believe me. That was a couple
> of years ago, and for a little while I wondered if I was going gaga. It was
> in forested Beerwah, on the Sunshine Coast, Qld.
> Now I ask: How many others have observed this behaviour? I have only seen
> it after the breeding season myself. I have my thoughts, but would welcome
> the opinion of others as to the motivation behind the behaviour. For
> instance, do you think it involves only immatures, or only adults, or both?
> I have not been close enough to distinguish myself.
> Jill Dening
> Sunshine Coast, Qld
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