This Channel-billed Cuckoo is a very large bird growing between 60-67cm with long wings and tail and a heavy bill. They range across the northern and eastern coasts of Australia usually staying in small flocks of a few pairs. They eat mainly fruit and particularly like the native fig. This one was in the top of a very tall white gum and even with the zoom he seemed a very long way away, he was probably wondering what the strange creature was that was darting around on the ground following him as he moved around the top most branches!
Captured at Dee Why, Sydney Australia
Another photograph of the Channel-billed Cuckoo I spotted in Sydney recently, they are large birds between 60-67 cms with blue/grey tops and banded tails.
Spotted this bird on Sydney’s northern beaches at sunset. It is a Channel-billed Cuckoo, a very large bird usually between 60-67 cms with a solid body/chest. It has long wings, long tail and a heavy bill and they like to eat fruit, mainly native figs.. one neighbour has a couple of large native fig trees that most probably attracted them to the area.
When adults they are a blue/grey colour but juveniles are a bit brown. The other one of this pair seemed bluer than this one but it was a little difficult to see exactly as the light was fading and I was on the ground looking up to the top of the tree but it does give you some idea of how solid they look and the distinct red on the bill and around the eyes.
My bird book describes their sound as ‘kork, ork, ork’ and tells me they lay their eggs in the nests of crows, magpies and currawongs where their young are reared alongside the host’s chicks. That must be why my sister said they are often chased by the crows.. the latter probably know what they are up to and don’t like being made the foster parent.