Channel-billed Cuckoos

To: <>
Subject: Channel-billed Cuckoos
From: "Peter Adderley" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 13:08:40 +1000
Alan Morris said:
I was surprised to see the comment by Peter Adderly today who said" By the number of dead baby birds lying around the streets of the Central Coast and the almost continuing cackling sounds I'd say we'll have a lot of Channel-bills this spring...".
As a resident of the Central Coast and a person who is out and about daily looking at birds, all I can say is I have neither heard a Channel-bill so far, nor seen any baby birds on the streets! Surely Peter Adderly is exaggerating! The actual action of a Channel-billed Cuckoo destroying/evicting eggs & young from Pied Currawaong nests, in order to make the host birds relay so that the cuckoos can synchonise their egg laying is rarely seen and most people would be totally oblivious to this activity. The first Central Coast Channel-billed Cuckoo was not noted until 8/9/01 at Empire Bay.
My apologies for not stating the limits of my observations and knowledge.
I am not a birdo, although I have been an interested observer for many years.
I have been living opposite a recreational reserve in Wyoming, just north of Gosford,
for nearly thirty years. The reserve has large stands of eucalypts, dense undergrowth,
and is a seasonal home to many species including Whipbirds and Koels.
I have been hearing a bird, which I believe to be a Channel-bill cuckoo,
over the years for longer than I can remember, and I have been hearing calls from
this bird for at least two weeks now, at regular intervals of 10-15 minutes during the day, all day.
Here are some sound files recorded this afternoon:
My (unverified) identification eventually came after a neighbour brought to my attention
three dead baby birds on her driveway. A local nurseryman even described this bird as an eagle,
due to its long "hooked"(?) beak. Thereafter I had conversations with two (alleged) birdos
who both described the action of the Channel-bill babies in ejecting the young of the host.
Last weekend, while delivering our residents' association's newsletter, I saw at least
six dead baby birds, all at the base of large stands of eucalypts at different locations
around Wyoming. Guilt by association, perhaps?
So, partly from anecdotal and suspected incorrect information I have been
trying to piece together what our cackling visitor is. 
I do not wish to make misleading claims, nor do I wish to exaggerate.
My presence on this list is to learn more about bird habits, habitats, and distribution.
I hope the members of the list will forgive my initial enthusiasm.
Peter Adderley
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