Thanks to those who replied regarding flocking Channel-billed Cuckoos
(CBCU). I am interested that what is a rarity for one area might be
commonplace in another. Such is the great benefit of birding aus.
Please note that I have not checked online for 24 hours, and there may be
answers to my question waiting to be downloaded.
During the past couple of years I have asked a few fellow birders on the
Sunshine Coast, Qld, if they have even seen this occurence, and the reply
has always been in the negative. And yet Terry Pacey said that it was
regular in the Bundaberg, Qld, region. David Geering said that it was
regular in Newcastle, NSW, but was associated in his case with feeding, not
post-breeding. (By the way, David, I refer to groups of up to 15 only). The
two reports which came in to me from Rockhampton, Qld, indicated that it
was the first time they had seen such an occurence. Trevor Ford (of
Frigatebird fame) says that he has not yet seen a CBCU on Bribie Island,
which is only half an hour's drive from here - and has plenty of crows, but
no Pied Currawongs. That's probably more to do with habitat.
I sense an increase in the abundance of CBCUs in my area throughout the
summer months. The sightings are just individuals or pairs, but the
sightings come more frequently these days. There is also a sense of an
increase in the local abundance of Pied Currawongs.
I know that it is quite common for migrants to gather in flocks prior to
migration, but we have still not answered the question of what these flocks
of CBCUs comprise. I suspect that we do not know. Hugo Phillip's
interesting contribution of the HANZAB information still did not touch on
the makeup of the flocks. James Davis raised the question of the difficulty
of distinguishing adults from immatures with binos, which is why I raised
the question: has anyone been able to get a closer look, enough to form an
What distinguishes this group of migrants from others is that in most
cases, the young are raised by their own parents. In the case of the CBCU,
I am wondering if they get together with adults prior to migration.
Sunshine Coast, Qld
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