Horsfields Bronze-Cuckoo

To: "" <>, cOG list <>
Subject: Horsfields Bronze-Cuckoo
From: David Rees <>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 07:31:36 +0000

It is very common for cuckoos worldwide to eat 'distasteful' caterpillars, that other birds leave.  The European cuckoo does this also, often going for very furry caterpillars..


This is interesting as these caterpillars have warning-type coloration and are not eaten by most birds. They can crawl unmolested across paving at Canberra Airport where there are magpies and ravens on the lookout for food. The cuckoos are either resistant to distasteful or poisonous compounds or the caterpillars are sending a fake signal with their warning coloration which fools most other birds. Many cuckoos also eat hairy caterpillars (which may have stinging hairs) which they mash up first, so perhaps they have found a food source less exploited by other birds.

Alison R


From: Nicki Taws m("","ntaws");"><>
Sent: Saturday, 14 September 2019 7:53 AM
To: 'chatline' m("","canberrabirds");"> <>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Horsfields Bronze-Cuckoo


On Monday along the Molonglo River, 2 Horsfield Bronze-cuckoos were enjoying the many succulent Pasture Day-moth caterpillars crawling around on the ground.




Nicki Taws


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