Koel v Magpie-Lark

To: "PJ (ITD)" <>, <>
Subject: Koel v Magpie-Lark
From: "Tom Wilson" <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 20:44:52 +1100
On Tuesday 7, Peter wrote:
"On an early morning walk today, I witnessed a female Koel being chased from a Magpie-Larks nest built over water. In the flurry of activity the Koel dropped something into the water below and I assumed it to be a Magpie-Larks egg. Is this normal behaviour? - I had believed it was the fledgling Koel that cleared the host nest of competition? Can anyone shed some light.?"
My understanding is that most cuckoos will remove one egg for the one they lay (eg refer page 533 of Pizzey & Knight) and then junior deals with the rest on hatching.  I presume this is because the hosts can recognise (if not count per se) the number of eggs in the nest and would abandon if an extra one appeared.
Any more scientific thoughts on this?
Tom Wilson
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