Re: Cuckoo Web Page

To: "alan morris" <>
Subject: Re: Cuckoo Web Page
From: "Lesley & Michael Brooker" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 08:12:07 +0800
Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for your admonition. We were aware that there were records of Koels feeding Red Wattlebirds in the Sydney area (we have 8 records listed in the cuckoo database on the Koel page but had not heard that the Little Wattlebird was also being parasitised. Do you have date, location and type of record (egg, nestling, fledgling fed by) for them please?

The reason that the wattlebirds are still not included on the Host Listings page ( is that we follow a strict protocol for accepting a biological (commonly used, successful) host. We require that they should have multiple (>4), independent (>1 observer, >1 location and >1 year) records and (a) an egg record or authentic nestling record followed through to fledging; or
(b) nestling and feeding records, as well as egg records; or
(c) egg records alone, if congeneric with a known biological host of the cuckoo.

As all of our records for the Red Wattlebird are just feeding records, it does not yet meet the criteria for including it as a regularly used, authentic, biological host. I know this seems extremely pedantic and I have no doubt that Red Wattlebirds are now common hosts, but it seems sensible to stick with the rules, as the evidence is then very clear.

Whenever anyone sends us records of parasitism we are happy to include them in our cuckoo database and to update the status of hosts where appropriate.

Again, thank you for your input - since we retired from CSIRO we do not see as much of the literature as we used to, as so we rely on observers to send us their sightings.

Kind regards
Lesley Brooker

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