This morning I was at Sheepstation Creek Conservation Park near Caboolture
in Queensland. Both White-bellied and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes are common
here, and they are normally fairly easy to distinguish. One bird, however,
had me puzzled. At first I thought it was a regulation BFCS, but on closer
inspection it was more the size of a WBCS, has light half eye-ring (a
feature of WBCS), and, even though it has a darker area the shape of that of
a BFCS, if you look closely you can see a slightly darker facial mask area.
The bill looks too small for BFCS. Now, I realise there are dark morphs of
WBCS (which I've never seen), but I have only ever seen photos of birds with
a totally dark head. So, I have three questions:
1. Do dark morph WBCS have gradations, or are they either all or
2. Do BFCS hybridise with WBCS?
3. Have I been duped by a juvenile?
A rather ordinary photo is here: http://www.pbase.com/image/150836159
Cheers Steve Murray
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