Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Nest Raider

To: bette <>
Subject: Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Nest Raider
From: scouler <>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 19:22:29 +1000
Hello Bette,

Do Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes often prey on the nestlings of other species? I've never heard of them doing it before. The only reference I could find on a quick search of the books is in the "Reader's Digest  Complete Book of Australian Birds" (1983 revision) p. 344, which offers circumstantial evidence: "Black-faced cuckoo-shrikes are primarily insect -eaters. They also eat berries and other fruit, and since many smaller  birds chase them away it seems that  on occasions they take nestlings."

Colin Scouler

bette wrote:

 Hi Graham,                 I was interested to read about your young Brown Honeyeaters. My sister lives in Kalgoorlie in W.A and has recently enjoyed watching a pair of Brown Honeyeaters building a nest in a hanging basket under her verandah. My sister tip toed around them and took the globe out of the socket so as not to disturb them after dark. They seemed very trusting and tolerated the presence of humans and the family dog.Imagine her horror when from under her very nose a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike swooped down and took one chick and left another on the floor of the verandah. The surviving chick was placed back in the nest under the watchful eye of the Cuckoo-Shrike. My sister stood guard over the remaining chick but had to eventually go inside and the Cuckoo Shrike was quick off the mark to seize the hapless chick despite aggressive protests from every Brown Honeyeater in the garden. Needless to say the Cuckoo- Shrike is not flavour of the month in one garden in Kalgoorlie.The pair were seen a few days later collecting cobwebs for another nesting attempt, they have given the verandah away, lets hope this time they are successful!!              Bett Mitchell.
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