Oriental Cuckoo ? at Killara NSW 18/11/03

To: <>
Subject: Oriental Cuckoo ? at Killara NSW 18/11/03
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 18:59:29 +1100
Hi Birders,
When reading Kurtis Lindsey's decription of what be believed to be an Oriental Cuckoo on the wires at Killara I was of the view that perhaps the bird was not an Oriental Cuckoo but rather a common old Pallid Cuckoo.
I say this for several reasons, the first is that Pallid Cuckoos are irregular visitors to Sydney, they are regular in spring to western Sydney and the Hawkesbury area and less common in the eastern and northern suburbs, so the Pallid Cuckoo cannot be ruled out because it does "not occur" as it can and occasionally "does occur". Furthermore they can breed on the North Shore and immature birds can have barred breasts.
Secondly Kurtis refers to " soft barring on the breast". Juvenile Fantailed, Brush and Pallid Cuckoos can all have "soft barring on the breast". Adult Oriental Cuckoos have prominent black bars on a white breast. Hepatic and or female birds can have red bars on a white breast. Juvenile Oriental Cuckoos can have pale to almost no barring on a buff breast. A more detailed description of the "barring" would be required before one could be certain that the bird was an Oriental Cuckoo.
My field guides shows that Brush, Pallid, Fantailed & Oriental Cuckoos all have white on the wing.
Finally from a moving bus, it might be a bit difficult to determine size and one would expect at this time of the year, in addition to Pallid Cuckoos, to see juvenile/immature Fantailed Cuckoos around the North Shore as well as Immature & female Brush Cuckoos..
While about 3-4 Oriental Cuckoo records are received annually for NSW, with some times appearing at the same location several years ina row, overall they are pretty rare for any location (ie in my 45 years of bird watching in NSW, I have only seen this species on one occasion, even though I have spent overall more time in the field than working behind a desk, and in more recent years, being out in the bush daily). Never-the-less an Oriental Cuckoo cannot be ruled out and the three that appeared at Mangrove Mangrove about 4 years ago, all totally different to each other, were a great bonus for many new and old birders alike! So Kurtis tell us more!
Alan Morris
Birding NSW Records Officer
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU