RE: birding-aus Rushworth, Cuckoos & other things

To: "'Dr Richard Nowotny'" <>
Subject: RE: birding-aus Rushworth, Cuckoos & other things
From: Susan Myers <>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 10:15:11 +1000
G'day Richard,
Yes, I remember that posting and have been well aware of this for a while. 
However, my point concerned Black-eared Cuckoo not all cuckoos in general. 
Black-eared Cuckoos are fairly regularly recorded in some southern areas in 
Victoria but I don't recall (off the top of my head - and this may reflect a 
lack of research) records of this species so early in the year. Therefore, my 
hypothesis is that it is indeed an unusual mid-winter sighting for this 
particular species that is otherwise rather infrequently encountered on the 
perimeters of its range. I suggest that this record is indicative of the 
barmy/balmy weather we've been experiencing lately!
see you soon,

-----Original Message-----
From:   Dr Richard Nowotny [SMTP:
Sent:   Saturday, July 31, 1999 12:56 PM
To:     Susan Myers
Subject:        Re: birding-aus Rushworth, Cuckoos & other things

Hi, Susan.  Re the apparent early arrival of this species, wasn't there an
interesting, and apparently authoritative, contribution to b-aus recently
which dealt with this same issue and made the case that many of the host
species for cuckoos commence breeding in mid-winter rather than spring and
that therefore the cuckoos must, and do, arrive in time to anticipate this
breeding.  The message was that unlike the northern hemisphere, with its
hostile winters (and therefore necessarily spring breeding), breeding in
Australia is not so focussed on spring.
It would also be likely that the arriving cuckoos would be far less visible
in mid-winter, ie before they actually commence breeding, because they
would not have commenced calling.
All of this suggests that it may be a misconception amongst us birders that
mid-winter cuckoo sightings are unusual.  What do you think?  Is there
evidence which either supports or refutes this thesis?

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