A young fan-tail

At this time of year we start to see young cuckoos.

This juvenile Fan-tailed Cuckoo was spotted near the old Newstead Courthouse last weekend. At first all I could make out was the distinctive profile silhouetted against a bright sky, then it thoughtfully moved to a low branch for better views. Young Fan-tailed Cuckoos lack the richly contrasting colours of the adult birds, instead they are a rich-rufous brown above with delicate barring on a paler breast and throat. Young Pallid Cuckoos are similar but slightly larger and much more boldly marked.


Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Newstead, 18th December 2016





This youngster was most likely raised in the nest of a fairy wren, thornbill, scrub-wren or honeyeater of which there an abundance of options in town. Unlike the adults which are very vocal when they arrive to breed in spring, the young birds are furtive and wary and often go unnoticed as they search for insect prey in trees and shrubs.

2 responses to “A young fan-tail

  1. Well spotted Geoff, I am still hearing adults in Yandoit which is lovely.

  2. Beautiful Geoff. I haven’t seen one this season but heard them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s