Pallid Cuckoos arrived in the district little more than a month ago. I was a little surprised then to come across an immature individual late this afternoon along Cemetery Road. This species has a short incubation period, just 12-14 days in the nest of the host, usually honeyeaters, woodswallows, whistlers or flycatchers. Once hatched they grow quickly as the host parents unwittingly feed the somewhat grotesque youngster. I’m not convinced this individual has come from a local nest – it may have fledged further north earlier in the season and then joined the southward migration in early Spring.
Correction: It appears that I’ve been tricked and that this is most likely an adult female. Stay tuned for a more informative and correct post on the age and sex differences in Pallid Cuckoos!