hours later - two big cuckoo species

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Subject: hours later - two big cuckoo species
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 12:29:46 +1100
Hi Peter and others,
What an easy question to answer. Isn't it good to have data readily available. Here is the text from "Canberra Birds: A Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey" for these two species. I will also append my note here of 10 November. It is clear from reports coming in that the trends of increase described in the GBS Report for both these species have continued, although these data post 2002 are unlikely to ever be published again in any similar coherent form.
The Channel-billed Cuckoo is a rare recent summer migrant visitor to Canberra. The recent nature of this is so much so that I did not include it in the text of my 2002 "Canberra Birds: A Report on the first 18 years of the Garden Bird Survey", however a year later (2003) when I updated and reprinted it as "Canberra Birds: A Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey" its status had increased sufficiently to include the species in the main text.
Extract follows:

Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea

This cuckoo has arrived here increasingly in recent years, 48 of the 71 records were in Years 18 to 21, including many with repeat observations and some of two birds. Records are overstated a bit as one noisy male can be widely recorded. Their call is loud, far-carrying and distinctive and observers seek them out when told they have been noted nearby, so many observations are from the bird heard calling. Maller & Jones (2001) in Brisbane found a temporal pattern to their calling which will impact on recording rate. Seasonal pattern is very clear, arrive in October, build to a December peak then decline, last observed in February. They seem to inhabit only the suburbs locally and are the only species recorded in the GBS not to be recorded in bush areas around Canberra (except twice, COG Atlas & 1999-2000 ABR). They are probably attracted by fruit, that is not available in woodlands. No breeding records - yet.
Graphs on page: 95, Rank: 104, A = 0.00298, F = 6.12%, W = 3.6, R = 0.279%, G = 1.07.

Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae

The 5 records comprise 5 observations. All are from late October to early December, in Years 12, 18, 20 and 21 only, so it may be increasingly passing through on southwards migrations.
Rank: 169, A = 0.00010, F = 0.42%, W = 0.2, R = 0.010%, G = 1.00.

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