A coucal once attempted to entice my husband into the bushes after he imitated
its mating call!
On 19 Dec 2017, at 5:10 pm, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> That "a baby bird is known to imprint on its parents" applies to many
> species. Most obviously things like ducks. It does not apply, to many other
> species. Clearly not for cuckoos. Cuckoos clearly know who is their species
> when it comes to mating. Besides the size difference is usually extreme and
> there is no resemblance of foster parent victims, to themselves, as adults.
> In some species it applies more to one sex than the other. For some species
> the males will imprint onto a foster parent and court females of that species
> when mature but females still know what is the right species when they grow
> As for "why don’t Currawongs identify the cuckoo as an imposter?" There is
> probably a multitude of reasons for many different species. A simple answer
> in many cases is they do. However the cuckoo has evolved counter measures of
> being overly enticing to the parent. Like a very big mouth that the foster
> parents find hard to not feed.
> As interesting as these questions are, in a way they are more interesting for
> the brood parasites that parasitize similar birds, like in the finches
> (Whydahs and Waxbills) and the at least one species of duck that parasitises
> other ducks.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of
> Chris Melrose
> Sent: Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 1:24 PM
> To: Birding Aus
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Channel-billed Cuckoo
> Hi All
> I have a few Channel-bills that have parasitised Currawong nests near my home
> on the lower north shore of Sydney. Numbers seemed to have increased over the
> years and they are even now along the Central Coast of NSW in places not
> previously seen.
> This week I can hear adults interacting vocally with fledglings, although I’m
> never in the right place at the right time to see the interaction. My
> question is: if a baby bird is known to imprint on its parents, the cuckoo
> should imprint on the Currawong when it is born, how does this imprint change
> for fledgling cuckoos so they later identify with adult cuckoos? What are the
> adult cuckoos doing when they come to visit the fledgling? And finally, why
> don’t Currawongs identify the cuckoo as an imposter?
> Do birds identify with others of their species? The ones in my neighbourhood
> always tend to stick together, so what is it that allows this switching of
> identity to happen?
> Christine Melrose
> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
> <BR> http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit: