Channel-billed Cuckoo aggregations

To: "'Tom Tarrant'" <>, "'Laurie Knight'" <>
Subject: Channel-billed Cuckoo aggregations
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 22:28:23 +1100

Why not just the usual situation of finding a good food source, like a fruiting tree. The Australian Bird guide says: “Seen singly, in pairs or small flocks”. (That is my limited observations of them too.) So seems quite ordinary to me.


Any suggestion (or not) that host parents of a nest parasite would ever be involved in teaching “their young” to migrate is I suggest entirely fanciful. Whether adult cuckoos might ever return to teach young cuckoos to migrate on the basis that the host parents would not, is also very dubious.




From: Birding-Aus [ On Behalf Of Tom Tarrant
Sent: Monday, 11 January, 2021 8:05 PM
To: Laurie Knight
Cc: Birding-Aus
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Channel-billed Cuckoo aggregations


Probably a bit early in the season (usually March/April) but I suspect they congregate like this to 'teach' the young how to migrate north, as their host parents, Torresian Crows/Magpies/Currawongs are probably residents (certainly not long-distance migrants)

What do others think?



On Mon, 11 Jan 2021 at 18:30, Laurie Knight <> wrote:


My most common CBC observation is a single bird calling in flight, with numerous instances of coordinated duos. 

A while back I came across a group of 4 hanging out in a eucalypt and I was struck by their similarity with hornbills.

This morning I saw a combination of 7 CBCs (6 in a bunch an another flying to join them). My question, is why would such a large group come together?  I can understand a pair doing a nest raid, and two pairs facing off over territory, but why would 7 come together?

Regards, Laurie



I.B. (Tom) Tarrant







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