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Cuckoo: Red-chested

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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wildtuinman
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Cuckoo: Red-chested

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:35 am

"Piet-my-vrou!" "Piet-my-vrou!"

Oooooh, what a wonderful summer bush sound.

Any pics?
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Unread postby Wild@Heart » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:22 am

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Unread postby Johann » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:34 am

Was very excited when I heard it for the first time, a couple of weeks back in our garden. Since then the excitement has grown into frustration. Two reasons: damn hard to get pics of him and then waking me up in the mornings between 3 and 4 o'clock, screaming its lungs out :(
Did manage to get a few pics on two different occasions though.

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:29 pm

There's a sneaky Piet-my-vrou around our residence that is driving me nuts. I have set up camera on the ready to get a shot of him/her when it starts calling, but every morning like clockwork it stops calling the moment I touch a door handle to go outside. You can wait as long as you want to, it won't call again until you back in the house. 10 minutes later - off it goes again: "Piet-my-vrou, Piet-my-vrou".

I tried going out the front and to sneak around the far side of the house, but this is one birdbrain refusing to be duped...

Any suggestions regarding a strategy to get pix of the bird? What do they eat, maybe I can drug the little beast into sitting for a shot!? :twisted:
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Unread postby francoisd » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:29 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Any suggestions regarding a strategy to get pix of the bird?

Yes. Learn the call of the Female bird. Hide in a bush with your camera, imitate the female's call and just before the male gets hold of you take a couple of snaps :P

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:50 pm

Sounds like a strategy that'll work for lovebirds... You think a Piet-my-vrou will fall for that? What does the female bird call out to her potential partner?

Some fieldguides suggest "Quid-pro-quo" - Latin for "something for something" indicating a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. English speakers often use the term to mean, "a favour for a favour". You think that'll fool my feathered friend?
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:03 pm

Worth a try... :wink: :lol:
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Unread postby anne-marie » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:12 pm

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it is a cuckoo ?
watched at Pafuri picnic spot 20.2.08
thanks in advance :)
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Unread postby deefstes » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:40 pm

Yup it's a Cuckoo allright but which one? I think this is actually a fascinating shot because your two obvious candidates would be Common Cuckoo and African Cuckoo and a third, not so obvious, candidate would be Red-chested Cuckoo.

I actually think it is indeed the not so obvious Red-chested Cuckoo, despite the virtual absence of a red chest. The relatively dark uppersides and coarser black bands on the chest point towards Red-chested.

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.

Finsally, the throat does seem to show a hint of rufous so this feature is not completely lost but a bird like this is bound to have many birders thoroughly confused if encountered in the field.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu May 29, 2008 10:55 am

anne-marie wrote:[img]
it is a cuckoo ?
watched at Pafuri picnic spot 20.2.08
thanks in advance :)


Sasol 3rd edition shows the Red-Chested Cuckoo as the only one of the three possibilities Deefstes mentioned earlier with a dark eye.

I also did a bit of research on the net and found this:

I went to have a look at the draft texts of Roberts VII. It seems the female Red-Chested Cuckoo sometimes have barring on upper breast and sometimes only faintly rufous throat. It seems that my cuckoo was probably a female Red-chested.


So I would agree with Deefstes and say that it is a Red-Chested Cuckoo and probably a female as well.

Do you remember if you have heard it call at all there in Pafuri?

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Unread postby Jock » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:36 pm

Okay, I have been going through my pictures to get all my ticks in for a big count and came across this bird. Elsa tells me it was ID as a African Cuckoo but I have been looking in my books and feel it is an Common Cuckoo. My Sasol book states the Common Cuckoo has a mainly black bill but the African Cuckoo has a yellow base to bill.

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Unread postby Richprins » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:57 pm

Hi, Jock.

Roberts' states the two to be different "races", which I would agree with, as the difference is so small.

This one would be the "common" or "European". As you sort of say, the bill is predominantly dark! :D

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Unread postby Jock » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:01 am

Thanks very much Richprins, the bird is now ticked.
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Unread postby Snoobab » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:20 am

Sorry, I have to disagree. This is an African Cuckoo. Another way of telling the difference is by the the undertail which is quite clearly seen in the top pic. You will see here that the undertail is barred, not spotted as it would be in a common Cuckoo.
The base of the bill in Common Cuckoo is a light greenish yellow and not very prominent, where as in the top pic you can quite clearly see the yellow of the bill which is prominent

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Unread postby francoisd » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:29 am

Agree with Snoobab on the basis of the tail barring that can be seen in photo 1 that this is an African Cuckoo.

And yes there seems to be some yellow at the base of the bill.
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