Size of juvenile Bronze-cuckoos

To: 'Birding Australia' <>
Subject: Size of juvenile Bronze-cuckoos
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:36:42 +1100
The other day I was walking past Mt St Joseph pond in Altona (Vic), and noticed 
a tiny bird sitting on a branch. I had no binoculars, but at first I thought it 
was a White-browed Scrubwren because it appeared to have some white markings on 
its face. But it was very small, and just moved further up the branch when I 
moved a bit closer.

Then a Superb Fairy-wren approached it, and I could see that their body sizes 
were almost the same. I also thought I could see some partial barring on its 
chest, suggesting Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo, but the tiny size doesn't seem 

I assume it hadn't fledged yet, or it would have tried to fly away. Can anyone 
tell me whether a young HBC could be fully feathered and climbing about in a 
tree, yet still not much bigger than a SFW?

Incidentally, the pond is totally dry at the moment, apart from a tiny puddle 
right under the outfall of the drain under the north platform.

Peter Shute

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