A quick review of images I took on 8 Feb indicates that there may have been up to four separate birds present - possibly of three species. (I did not see the Fan-tailed Cuckoo reported earlier). I will work the images up so that the relevant characters can
be seen and then post them on the COG chatline. This may take a few days as I have some other priorities ATM. On a preliminary basis I am inclined to agree with David that there was only one BEC present and that that bird was an adult.
On 2/9/2018 10:02 AM, Dr David Rosalky wrote:
A group of us saw what we thought were two BE Cuckoos this morning – one apparently a juvenile. But having consulted HANZAB, I am
shifting to the opinion that it was a juvenile Horsfield’s. Two indicators: the eye bar was brown and much paler than the adult; the flanks had pale rufous barring high on the flanks. Both of these characteristics are described in HANZAB for the HBC but
not the BEC. (There was also a mature HBC present.)
Anyone got an update or more reliable analysis than this?
Probably the larva of the Elm leaf beetle.
From: Geoffrey Dabb
Sent: Friday, February 9, 2018 6:51 AM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Black-eared Cuckoo
From: Michael Lenz
Sent: Thursday, 8 February 2018 3:23 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: canberrabirds chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Black-eared Cuckoo
The bird was still there at 15:00 h doing similar things to what Sue and Philip have described, but also chasing at times the other Bronze Cuckoos.
On 8 February 2018 at 14:33, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
Yes a “me too”. I went about mid day today and found Con B. at the site, who showed me where it had been,
exactly as Sue described. I strolled and sat on the park bench for 20+ minutes blankly looking into the trees thinking I should come back tomorrow morning when the birds should be more active. It is a little awkward strolling around with binoculars near two
young ladies sunning themselves in bikinis nearby. Then the Black-eared Cuckoo appeared, flew in and perched about 3 metres away from me, stayed in easy view for about 10 minutes whilst I sat on the park bench and then I lost it. Geoffrey D appeared and the
Black-eared Cuckoo reappeared almost immediately, followed by Julie C. Anyway we 3 watched it for maybe 30 minutes, mostly at very close range. Many photos taken (not by me). It stayed at about 2.5 to 4 metres above ground, in contrast to the 2 spp of Bronze-Cuckoos
(1 of each) who were only seen by me near the tree top. The Black-eared Cuckoo was feeding throughout the time, delicately picking off the small caterpillars, each by the middle of the body (as far as I could see). Only flying minimally, mainly just walking
along the branches. It is a first ever observation of this species for me. It is some years since I added a bird to my Aussie list. Thanks for the information.
From: Sue Lashko
Sent: Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 6:37 PM
To: canberrabirds chatline
Subject: [canberrabirds] Black-eared Cuckoo
Just back from a very productive 45 minutes at Bimbi Beach, Diddams Close, Lake Ginninderra.
Christine D had already located the Black-eared Cuckoo when I arrived and by the time we left we had identified both bronze-cuckoos as well as a Fan-tailed. The elm leaves are being attacked by small caterpillars and the cuckoos were gorging themselves, so
it would be reasonable to assume that the cuckoos might still be there in the morning.
Just to repeat the location - the elms between the dog park and the beach and the actual trees were between the 2 barbeques.