urban cuckoos

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Subject: urban cuckoos
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Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 17:31:11 +1000

Martin O’Brien wrote:


A new bird for the home list (Richmond, 5.5 km from the GPO) in inner suburban Melbourne.


On a very sunny Sunday morning (21 August) we heard a single Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo giving its sad, descending whistle from atop a power pole in the street.


This is the first record we have had of the species in 16 years at this address.  The only other cuckoo was a Pallid many years ago.  Interestingly the bird wasn't being harassed by the local Common Mynahs which usually hound anything unusual as soon as it appears.


As Melbourne is still very much in winter, this seemed to be an early record of the species to me.  What are people's experiences with cuckoos returning in southern Victoria, especially the suburbs?



Martin – my earliest records in Quarries Park Clifton Hill (very close to where you are) are:

1999, 22nd September;

2001 4th September;

2002, 25th September;

2004,  2nd October

I don’t check the park every week (let alone every day, though I did make an effort in 2001).  So 21st August seems quite an early return. Birds do overwinter in the greater Melbourne area and I have records from the Western Treatment Plant for all winter months, including copulating birds in early July. I have sometimes wondered whether birds are present in Clifton Hill (but not calling) at earlier dates.  


Just checked the atlas data on Birdata and discovered there are no records for inner Melbourne , either winter or summer! Must get around to sending some in.   



Neville Pamment





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