Philip A. Veerman <>
bruce Cox <>
Sunday, 30 June 2002 13:57
Subject: Horsfield's Bronze
I have several times encountered Horsfield's
Bronze Cuckoos foraging on or near the ground, though less often than in trees.
(I don't recall other cuckoos, except the coucal, doing that.) The most recent
time for me was at the BA outing to Werribee on 26 May 2002, when several
observers watched one of them doing this and eating a caterpillar.
-----Original Message-----Hi Everyone,
bruce Cox <>
Saturday, 29 June 2002 12:13
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos.
this week John Duranti, Colin Scouler and I stayed for a couple of
at a cottage in the Capertee Valley about 150 K. west of Sydney.
birding was fairly quiet as there was very little flowering in the
I was taken by the behaviour of two Horsfield's Bronze
Cuckoos feeding on
the ground for appreciable periods of time. The birds
were taking black
grubs (caterpillars?) from no more than 3 cm. above the
were about the same size as the birds bill and one bird
I watched from about
10 m. was taking one every 10 to 30 seconds. Between
grubs the bird adopted
an erect, stretched neck posture, looking for
possible threats. This posture
reminded me of a Brown treecreeper's on
ground posture. Both birds continued
ground feeding until I flushed them.
When I moved on they returned to the
ground. The area where they were
feeding was a grazed gully bottom paddock
with short cropped grass, low
herbs (attracting Turquoise Parrots) and some
moss. There was also a
higher, largely dead weed which apparently harboured
the grubs as a
variety of birds were feeding where it was prevalent. (Hooded
Jacky Winters, Willy Wagtail and Superb Fairy-wrens.)
Last July we
again stayed on the same property and then observed a HBC
acting as above
in the same gully. In January 1995 I observed two HBC ground
feeding on a
swamp verge at Lake Wyangan just north of Griffith, NSW.
this is a normal practice for Horsfields, although none of my
mention it, the closest is Pizzey and Knight "forages
low". The Readers
Digest book refers to "perch and pounce"
while Pizzey and Doyle says "feeds
in foliage, perches watchfully on
overhead wires fences."
Has anyone observed this
48 Rangers Retreat Rd. Frenchs
Sydney. 2086. Australia.