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Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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wildtuinman
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Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:37 am

Biyamithi 18km road.

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Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:11 am

Thanks, LadyRaven. :D

My SO saw it (She basically spotted everything). I saw the barbet fly across the road and stopped to see who the flash of colour belonged to.

We have a question. It is stated that the cuckoo parasitizes starlings mostly. Seeing that this is a juv. bird with the barbet so close to it, is there a possibility that the barbet raised it? :?

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Unread postby deefstes » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:50 am

I think this is most fascinating! There is no established link between Great Spotted Cuckoo and Crested Barbet as far as brood parasitism is concerned but, unlike the specialist brood parasites (Indigobirds, Whydahs etc.) these Cuckoos do parasitise whichever species they deem fit at the time.

So it is not entirely inconceivable that this Greater Spotted Cuckoo have been raised by a Crested Barbet but confirmation of that would have been of tremendous interest. You didn't by any chance notice the Cuckoo giving begging calls? If you had hung around a bit longer you might even have witnessed the Barbet feeding the Cuckoo, a picture that would have been very valuable!

While it has been established that GS Cuckoo parasitises all of the glossy starlings present in Kruger, their primary hosts are actually crows, most frequently Pied Crow but also Cape Crow and insufficient data suggests even White-necked Raven.

For this reason I've always had some form of reverence for the Great Spotted Cuckoo. No other brood parasite uses a host that is actually bigger than itself so while many people consider brood parasitism "cowardly" I think these guys have balls.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:16 pm

Hi Deefstes,

Thanks, you make it sound even more interesting. I took a few pics but will have to work thru it to see what I got.

We only made the connotation between the 2 birds the moment the cuckoo made what I can only describe as begging wing flapping movements. It did call as well and even thou I am not very familiar with the GS Cuckoo call, it was a juvenile bird call... a begging call perhaps?

The barbet flew off a whee while later and we had to rush a bit to get to the camp in time before gate closing time as we had 16kms to go in the last hour.

My SO seemed to have taken a picture of the cuckoo flapping the wings. I am waiting for the email to come thru.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon May 05, 2008 9:12 am

Had another awesome sighting of this bird on the 1st of May @ Kgomo-Kgomo.

A juvenile was walking around on the ground in a grassland edge of the marsh area, hunting. Completely comfortable.

Found it exceptionally weird.

Pictures will follow soon.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu May 08, 2008 6:56 am

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Unread postby Johann » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:32 am

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:18 pm

Pilansberg NR had some lovely rain this past weekend, with some great bird sightings. This adult Greater spotted Cuckoo being one of them...

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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:32 pm

Thanks RJ,
I saw this one at Zaagkuil this morning (I posted a little trip report at the Stiffnecks feedback reports)

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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:59 pm

:evil: :evil: Very Impressive!
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:54 am

Nice photo Lizet :thumbs_up: :mrgreen:
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby jacliz » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:43 am

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Northern Kruger, Feb. 2010
KTP
Oct 29/Nov 14: KTC, Urikaruus, Grootkolk, Nossob, KK, KTC
February 15: Agulhas, Storms River, Golden Gate, Mountain Zebra, Addo, Wilderness
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:50 pm

"Spotted" this one a bit out-of-range on the highveld near Witbank. Looks a bit worse-for-wear...

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Some years ago I snapped a series of a male-female "creepie-for-my-sweetie" pix. I'll see if I can get that posted in this thread...
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:24 pm

As promised, that diversion tactic; feeding one end, fiddling with the other!

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Who says men can't multi-task?

The male cuckoo presents the female with an armoured cricket (animal kingdom version of a box of chocolates...)
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deefstes
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Re: Cuckoo, Greater spotted

Unread postby deefstes » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:47 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:As promised, that diversion tactic; feeding one end, fiddling with the other!

Image

Who says men can't multi-task?

The male cuckoo presents the female with an armoured cricket (animal kingdom version of a box of chocolates...)


Muchos cool!

Are you sure that's an Armoured Cricket though? Looks more like a Pyrgomorphid like Phymateus morbillosus, P. viridipes or such.
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