Pallid Cuckoo

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Common Name: Pallid Cuckoo
Scientific Name: Cuculus pallidus

Size: 11 -13 inches (28-33 cm)

Habitat: Australia; found in Australia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown.

Diet: Hairy caterpillars, other insects and their larvae. Prey is spotted from low perch and is pounced on, usually on the ground. Some insects are taken from foliage.

Nesting: The Pallid Cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of honeyeaters, woodswallows, whistlers and flycatchers. Common host species include the Willie Wagtail and the Hooded Robin. The female cuckoo removes one of the host's eggs and replaces it with one of her own. The cuckoo egg usually closely resembles the host egg, and the unsuspecting host hatches it along with its own. The cuckoo egg usually hatches more quickly and the young cuckoo instinctively forces the other eggs (or chicks) out of the nest. The cuckoo rapidly outgrows its 'foster' parents, who frantically search for sufficient food to satisfy the demanding young bird.

Cool Facts: All cuckoos have Zygodactyl feet (two toes forward, two back as like parrots and woodpeckers). The Pallid Cuckoo is identified by its grey plumage, which is darker on the wings and back, and its broadly barred black and white undertail. The bill is brown, the legs and feet are grey-brown, and there is a bright yellow ring around the eye. No other Australian cuckoo has this coloration.

Found in Songbird ReMix Australia Volume I

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