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Cuckoo: Red-chested

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:45 am

Interesting discussion.

I have not decided yet on this one. But I won't rule out female Red-chested Cuckoo just yet. :D
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Unread postby Snoobab » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:00 am

wildtuinman wrote:Interesting discussion.

I have not decided yet on this one. But I won't rule out female Red-chested Cuckoo just yet. :D


The female RC Cuckoo has for a start got a much paler eye and there is very little colouring on the bill and what is there would also be a very pale greenish yellow colour

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:51 am

Doesn't the Red-chested Cuckoo have a dark eye? I haven't checked that against Sasol III yet, but both Roberts software and Newman's points to that. :?

I have gone past the idea of taking one reference as proof when it gets to tricky id's. Sorry guys. :lol: There are just so many conflicting pointers and even more missing ones. :|
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 pm

Lets get everyone's consensus:

The three possibilities are: African, Common, Red-chested Cuckoo, right?

Bill: Upper mandible = dark. Right? I don't see the yellow base. This surely excludes African Cuckoo?

Eye: dark or light colored? Dark according to my references and I now recall Sasol III also pointing that out would refer to a Red-Chested Cuckoo.

What you clever okes reckon?
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Unread postby Snoobab » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:14 pm

Sorry should be more clearer. Yes eye is dark but eye-ring is lighter.
Have a look at top pic and you can clearly see the yellow base to bill, also the tail barring is very clear, ruling out Common.
To me the bill alone points to African.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:27 pm

I agree that it is not a Common Cuckoo. I battled to find the difference between barred and spotted on the under tail I must admit but in the end I concluded that it is more barred than spotted.

But the dark eye and the barring on the chest extending to the throat area makes me believe that this is not an African Cuckoo.

Look at this post id here at the bottom of the page as well as I recall that we had quite a battle with this one too.
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Unread postby francoisd » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:41 pm

Must admit I forgot about the variation of female Red-chested Cuckoo without the "red".

There is light barring on the vent area of the bird which I do not see on any of my illustrations for adult Red-chested so maybe a subadult (female)?
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:47 pm

Deefstes wrote:Most importantly though, and a feature which is easily overlooked, is the feathers on the vent which lacks any barring. These feathers would have been barred in Common Cuckoo and African Cuckoo but they're plain in Red-chested Cuckoo.


Newman's doesn't show a white vent for Red-chested cuckoo, but it does for Common. I don't have SASOL III with me right here so I can't give a pointer from that.

What do you guys reckon this bird's vent contain?
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Unread postby francoisd » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:49 pm

wildtuinman wrote:What do you guys reckon this bird's vent contain?

Read my post above
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:55 pm

I can't find anything substantial in the vent category to help me with the i.d. For now I will stay with the female Red-chested Cuckoo for 2 reasons. And this is weighed up against the African cuckoo.

1. The dark eye.
2. The inconclusive yellow base on the bill, especially on the upper mandible. Most references alert one on this and from the pictures of birds taken in the field I have looked at now on the net is far more distinct that what this picture of Jock shows.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:55 pm

francoisd wrote:
wildtuinman wrote:What do you guys reckon this bird's vent contain?

Read my post above


Noted! :lol:
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Unread postby Johann » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:01 pm

wildtuinman wrote:I can't find anything substantial in the vent category to help me with the i.d. For now I will stay with the female Red-chested Cuckoo for 2 reasons. And this is weighed up against the African cuckoo.

1. The dark eye...


One tiny problem with that. Female African Cuckoo shows a light brown eye (according to Roberts MM) which as we all know, in certain light conditions will show as dark. Not the yellow iris as like the male or Common Cuckoo.
Last edited by Johann on Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:05 pm

The darker upper parts is my 3rd pointer for Red-chested Cuckoo. African Cuckoo's upper parts seems more grey.

@Johann, what reference did you find that, Joe? the more info we get from various references, the better. :lol:
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Unread postby Elsa » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:21 pm

Not sure if it will help any but I thought I would post the cropped pics I have of the same Cuckoo.
Might make the ID'ing a bit easier. :?


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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:22 pm

Thanks Johann.

I agree with your point. Although the video of the African Cuckoo on the Robert's software doesn't show the eye as dark as this photo. But definitely not the only point to consider this a Red-chested Cuckoo on, I agree.

in combination with the lack of distinct yellow base on the bill and the darker upper parts I would still go for female Red-chested Cuckoo and as Cois mentioned, a sub adult for me particular because of the sign of barring on the throat area of the bird in picture.
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