Cuckoos and another Abberton website update

Subject: Cuckoos and another Abberton website update
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 23:27:36 +1000
I was watching an immature Pallid Cuckoo interacting with an adult Pallid
Cuckoo the other day.

It occurred to me that we shouldn't assume that an adult cuckoo is
necessarily a parent of an immature or juvenile cuckoo of the same species,
just because we see them together. The biological parents of young European
Cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) migrate to Africa separately weeks or months
before the young birds, and have nothing more to do with their offspring.

It isn't unusual to see adult and immature Pallid Cuckoos (Cuculus pallidus)
in the same environment at the same time, and interacting. I've seen the
same with Common Koel, Channel-billed Cuckoos, Horsfields and Little
Bronze-cuckoos, and I don't doubt that such interactions occur with all
cuckoo species, as they do with unrelated birds of all other species.

But is there any evidence anywhere that the adult cuckoos that we see with
young birds are necessarily their parents?

A photograph of the Pallid Cuckoo that triggered these musings is now up on
the Abberton website, along with 10 or so other new pics which I posted

The direct link to the photos pages is
- or go to  and click through the links.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

(27º 34' 21" S; 152º 08' 21" E)

Visit our website at

Nothing but cars & over 100,000 of them at


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