Cuckoos are great predators of caterpillars, with all local visiting migrant species happily finding them in the canopy and on the ground. This recently arrived Fan-tailed Cuckoo, descended directly in front of me to snatch a woolly caterpillar from amongst the grass, before alighting to a perch to enjoy the meal.
Watching cuckoos hunting is fascinating, as they work they way diligently through the foliage in pursuit of prey. When actively feeding they’ll find numerous items every minute. Many caterpillars have a reputation, well deserved, as being unpleasant eating. This doesn’t deter the cuckoos – they’ve adapted to whatever toxins are present and play a key role in limiting the numbers of foliage eating caterpillars in the bush.