Easily deceived

I’ve witnessed juvenile cuckoos of all local species being fed by their ‘parents’ on a few occasions over the years, but this is the first time I’ve managed to snap some decent images.

I was alerted to this juvenile Pallid Cuckoo by its incessant begging calls and it wasn’t long before the hosts arrived to feed it. It appears this one has been reared by Brown-headed Honeyeaters with at least two adults appearing every few minutes with a bill full of insects to satisfy the greedy cuckoo. The nature of the deception is extraordinary when you consider the massive size difference between the parasite and the host.

Pallid Cuckoo (juvenile), Rise and Shine, 3rd January 2018

Begging pose

Brown-headed Honeyeater feeding juvenile Pallid Cuckoo




7 responses to “Easily deceived

  1. How absolutely extraordinary Geoff

  2. That juvenile could almost consume its ‘parent’ – easily fooled indeed!

  3. Patrick Kavanagh

    That poor little honeyeater feeding that whopping cuckoo!

  4. If I was one of those parent birds I’d be worried about being swallowed whole. . .

  5. Helen Wakefield

    I am trying not to compare the cuckoo to some politicians and the little bird to the taxpayer………….but……hmmmm…. better leave it at that?!?!

  6. Amazing behaviour. I’ve heard about this bit but haven’t witnessed it. Thank you for the photos.

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