Cuckoo Cuckoo Cuckoo!

Cuckoos are ‘brood parasites,’ meaning that the hen will go to another bird’s nest, push out one of that bird’s eggs and lay one of her own, so that bird unknowingly raises the cuckoo chick. In Europe hearing the call of the cuckoo is regarded as a harbinger of Spring. They even have a clock named after them! With its characteristic cuckoo call to strike out the hours, the cuckoo clock was first made in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in Germany in the 1740’s.
Cuckoo is synonymous with being crazy, perhaps referring to the repetitive call of the cuckoo.
I had always associated cuckoos with Europe, but since I have been observing and learning about birds in Australia, I realize there are lots of cuckoos here, but I haven’t heard one that sounds like a cuckoo clock!
I think Australia has some of the noisiest birds in the world and the largest of the cuckoos, the channel-billed cuckoo, is no exception.
We spotted this one at Kooloonbung and I think it is a juvenile. For an excellent site about birds in Australia go to

They also have some sound recordings of various birds.
Unlike other cuckoos, the CbC who lays its eggs in magpie, currawong and crow nests, doesn’t evict the host’s young or eggs from the nest, the CbC chick simply grows faster than the other chicks, takes all the food and therefore the others starve.




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