Re: birding-aus Flocking Channel-billed Cuckoos

Subject: Re: birding-aus Flocking Channel-billed Cuckoos
From: David James <>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 11:15:50 +1000

At 18:34 10/02/99 +1000, Jill denning wrote:
>An incredulous report to me from a fellow birder, who had seen flocking
>Channel-billed Cuckoos (CBCU),
>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.


I've also seen Channel-billed Cuckoos (CBCU) flocking, and in particular
communally roosting. I've seen it in late Jan and Feb. The most i've seen
roosting together was about 20 in early 1996. Over a period of a few weeks
they would congregate in a group of trees (Moreton Bay Ash, Euc.
tessalaris) in the local park about an hour before dusk. Last Sat evening I
saw a group of 15 roosting in a dead Eucalypt at a local reveg. sight just
before dark. while spotlighting an hour or so later I noticed they were
still there. 

I've only ever seen adults in these groups, but its hard to get close
enough to be sure without disturbing them.   

Motivation... thats a tough one. communal roosting is a pretty common
phenomena. Figbirds, Mynas, Rainbow Lorikeets, White-breasted Woodswallows,
Little Corellas, plus of course many kinds of water birds, and Flying foxes
are examples that immediately spring to mind around Townsville. I speculate
that it is an anti-predator behaviour, but...  


David James
PO BOX 5225
Townsville Mail Centre 4810

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