birding-aus Channelbill Cuckoos

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Channelbill Cuckoos
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 18:43:37 +1000
Hello all,

This morning, just four days after the first Channelbill Cuckoo (Scythrops
novaehollandia ) arrived here I again heard their raucous squawks and
growls in a tall tree in my front garden. These were prompted by
near-passes, beak-snapping and aggressive calling from the local"
neighbourhood watch :" Noisy Miners, Australian Magpies, Pied Currawongs
and Australian Magpies with vocal assistance from Rainbow Lorikeets and
Crimson Rosellas.
After about twenty minutes of this cacophony a second Channelbill Cuckoo
arrived bringing its own troop of protesters this bird landed in a nearby
gum tree (Eucalyptus sieberi) ,whereupon the first cuckoo flew into a
tallish Scribbly Gum  (Eucalyptus haemastoma) about 14m high growing near
my front entrance.
Whilst locating this bird, much to my surprise,.I saw a nest made of twigs
and small sticks placed in a position typically favoured by Pied
Currawongs. Built right under my nose as it were and I call myself a
The two nest-owners made harassing dives on the intruder who ignored them
and hopped across to the nest into which it peered for a few
seconds.Sitting on the edge it dipped its head and raised it with an egg in
its beak which it swallowed The cuckoo then settled onto the nest and
remained there for two or three minutes, before flying off to join the
other cuckoo in a  Turpentine tree (Syncarpia glomulifera)
behind my house--Big Mistake!!!. This move put them into the territory of a
pair of nesting Australian Ravens (Corvus coronoides), Channelbills abt.
60cms.---Ravens abt.50cms.

The Ravens then did something I have not witnessed before,they physically
attacked one of the cuckoos.
Pale-grey feathers floated down through the branches of the turpentine and
shrieking and squawking the two cuckoos flew off pursued by their trail of
protesters All this excitement on a quiet Saturday morning.

If that cuckoo managed to deposit an egg in that nest we may be in for a
noisy Summer as well as a noisy Spring
Best wishes


Reg Clark
11 Carmen St
St Ives NSW 2075
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