Cacomantis variolosus

CUCULIDAE

Brush Cuckoo

Description
The Brush Cuckoo male is grey-brown above, light grey to buff below, with a grey head, neck and breast. The tail has a white tip and is barred white underneath. The female has two colour morphs (forms): unbarred and barred. The unbarred morph is similar to the male but is much paler buff underneath, with faint grey barring across the chest. The barred morph is less common, and has streaked/barred upper parts and the underbody is darkly barred. Juvenile Brush Cuckoos are heavily barred dark brown above and mottled and barred underneath.
Feeding
The Brush Cuckoo eats insects, particularly hairy caterpillars. It usually forages high in the forest canopy but may sometimes feed on the ground.
Breeding
Eggs whitish with purple brown markings. Usually use cup shaped nests of other small birds. The Brush Cuckoo is a nest parasite, which means that it lays its eggs in other birds' nests.
The young cuckoo ejects any other eggs or young once it hatches. The host parents brood and feed the young cuckoo, sometimes for up to a month after it fledges.
Call
A shrill and deliberate far carrying call 'fear, fear, fear, fear'.  Displaying males are very noisy with a rising shrill like 'wheres the tea pete'.  Click here, scroll down and select the music note to hear the Brush Cuckoo.
Resources
http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Cacomantis-variolosus

http://photogallery.canberrabirds.org.au/cuckoos.htm
A field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Graham Pizzey

More information can be found on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brush_Cuckoo

 


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