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
Here are some sound files recorded this
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,
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
Channel-billed Cuckoos do on occasion remove currawong
nestlings from the nest. This is well documented in an article in "Australian
Birds" (Sept.1994) written by Dariel Larkins. The article was called "The
Channel-billed Cuckoo: Behavior at Nests of Pied Currawong" and, in part,
documents Dariel's observation of an eviction.
The call of the Channel-bill is an incredible hooting
cackle, I can't liken it to anything else.