Channel-billed cuckoos

Subject: Channel-billed cuckoos
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 16:49:40 +1000
After a week in Sydney, I returned home (Sunshine Coast hinterland) to read
messages relating to CBCs in Sydney, and want to add my bit. Last week I
was visiting my parents in North Epping, where I heard CBCs just about
every day. This is, to my knowledge, the third season that they have been
around North Epping. Two years ago my mother phoned to get an ID on this
strange bird in her garden, with a raucous call, and she was quite certain
that she had never seen or heard the bird at home before. But that is not
the point of this message.

It was either last year or the year before that she rang to relate the
following........a riot was erupting in the garden, and she found Pied
Currawongs loudly abusing a CBC, which was ignoring them, and playing with
something in its mouth.  It was white, appeared to be an egg, and was
gently rolling it around and from side to side in its mouth. I quizzed her
on whether she might be mistaken about it being an egg. She could only say
that she believed it to be an egg, and that it was being treated gently.
She emphasised that she had good views through the binos, and that she sat
watching in fascination for about two hours. Last week I raised the subject
with her again, and her story hadn't changed. Asked how big the "egg" was,
she made a circle of her thumb and forefinger, so I guess about the size of
10c or 20c. It was not a golf ball.

Has anyone ever observed this type of behaviour in a CBC? Has anyone a
plausible explanation? Mother wants to know. So do I.

And now an offer of birding hospitality. During a three year birding trip
around Australia, my husband and I were treated to some marvellous
friendship and hospitality by birdos previously unknown to us. I should
like, in turn, to offer help, directions, suggestions, company,
conversation to birdos visiting our area, which is in the Glasshouse
Mountains region of SEQld. A bit of notice might be adviseable. My
particular area of interest is shorebirds, and the Pumicestone Passage is
my home territory.

Jill Dening   Ph/fax (07) 5494 0994

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