I didn’t realise the channel-billed cuckoo could be found so far south. The channel-billed cuckoo is a common migrant to Australia and a very occasional vagrant to New Zealand, where there have been six records scattered from the Far North to Invercargill. They seem to be taking over Australia (and people’s piece of mind) at the moment! Habitat. [9], Three subspecies are recognised:[10] the nominate Scythrops novaehollandiae novaehollandiae of Australia, New Guinea and the Moluccas, Scythrops novaehollandiae fordi in Sulawesi, and Scythrops novaehollandiae schoddei in the Bismarck Archipelago. Toggle Sidebar. This is our second year in this house and though we have lived in Bendigo most our lives. Folklore states that the arrival of the Koel signals the beginning of the rainy season. Rare, non-breeding summer migrant. Thanks for the post. Thanks for this site – I’m finding out so much. [16] The channel-billed cuckoo is a strong flier, with a distinctive, almost hawk-like cross-shaped (cruciform) flight silhouette. [3] The species is the largest brood parasite in the world, and the largest cuckoo.[4]. There is generally little sexual dimorphism in size, but where it exists, it can be either the male or the female that is larger. It is not known if the species breeds in New Guinea, as some birds are present there all year. Unmistakable! It’s very intriguing how they drop their eggs in other birds nests, rather than doing the work themselves, yet they, apparently, hang around waiting for their baby/babies to grow large enough to fly back with them to Indonesia/PNG. Captain Arthur Phillip wrote of this (at the time) mysterious bird—calling it the 'psittaceous hornbill'—in his 1789 work The voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, consulting with ornithologist John Latham and deliberating that it had features of a parrot, hornbill or toucan, though conceding there were no toucans in the region. The Common Koel Identification. From: "Mike" < > Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 15:10:46 +1000: Greetings Birding-Aus subscribers Two days ago we saw a group of three Channel-billed Cuckoos and a single bird flying over Motupore island then along the New Guinea Coast towards the south-east just as did the White-throated Needletails. Alternative Name/s Stormbird, Storm-bird Identification Apart from the Channel-billed Cuckoo's large size, its massive pale, down-curved bill, grey plumage (darker on the back and wings) and long barred tail make it difficult to confuse it with any other bird. Now it’s April, and two channel-bills are still here, sounding quite mournful in our trees. The ones in this region left at around the same time as usual. They moved in some weeks ago and have been screeching through the night since then! In fact, it has benefited from human activities; along with the Australian Koel its numbers have increased in some parts of its range due to increases in host species caused by extensive planting of gardens around Australian cities It is only here we have heard it. I have to admit that its call signals the beginning of a long hot summer so I inwardly groan when its call begins to dominate the valley here. [7] The specific epithet novaehollandiae means of New Holland, hence Australian. Its has been very entertaining in the trees around the neighbourhood. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Wish there was some intervention to stop this infiltration, Even further south, I hear both here in Shellharbour. My question is, i have recently moved to the beautiful tropics of far nth qld, and am hearing a beautiful call, its almost like a whale sound, except I’m in the rain forest, so I’m pretty sure it’s not that! Nothing subtle about it! LC Yellow-throated Cuckoo. Female(?) For several months the east coast region is filled with pterodactyl-like calls as the cuckoos apply this breeding strategy. Yes, well it definitely marks the beginning of the hot season, so there is something special about it! The cuckoo birds around our yard are intrigued by the friendship other birds have with us and have been forthcoming in making friends with us too. [6][3] Its generic name is derived from the Ancient Greek skuthro-/σκυθρο- 'angry' or 'sullen', and ops/ωψ 'face', 'eye' or 'countenance'. The wings are darker grey with dark tips on the feathers. The Annual Cuckoo Migration: channel-billed cuckoos and koels, Bumps in the Night: nocturnal field recordings, https://soundslikenoise.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/channel-billed-cuckoo.mp3, https://soundslikenoise.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/koel-2.mp3, https://soundslikenoise.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/koel-1.mp3, The Annual Cuckoo Migration: channel-billed cuckoos and koels - Sounds Like Noise | A World of Sound | Scoop.it, About Channel-billed Cuckoos and other cuckoos of the Top End – Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, Eastern Koel; The most annoying bird. [1] In fact, it has benefited from human activities; along with the Australian koel its numbers have increased in some parts of its range due to increases in host species caused by extensive planting of gardens around Australian cities.[25]. The Channel-billed Cuckoo The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the world's largest parasitic bird, its wingspan measuring up… Very useful to hear your recordings; the first recording I understand to be of the channel-billed cuckoo, the second the common koel. LC Long-billed Cuckoo. But it was only this week that I actually SAW a channel-billed cuckoo fly out of tree, pursued by a family of magpie-larks. Vagrant birds have reached New Zealand and New Caledonia. The koels have taken up residence here again for the spring, a mournful cry which I’m not sure I’m ready for this season. LC Pacific Koel. Usually arriving in September, the Common Koel is a large migratory cuckoo which flies to Australia from New Guinea, Indonesia and possibly the Philippines. This is yet another example of the way in which sound reflects the passage of time. HANZAB reveals that Channel-billed Cuckoo chicks don’t usually eject host chicks (but out compete them) also that they may have multiple cuckoo eggs in the one nest. A tiny part of my brain should probably be saying, Damn koels waking me up and tossing eggs out of nests of poor innocent birds, but in fact I just feel so happy that summer is on it’s way, especially if the wisteria is starting to blossom as well. The Eastern Koel is a member of the cuckoo family. Channel-billed cuckoo: Chestnut-breasted malkoha** Chestnut-winged cuckoo (Red-winged crested cuckoo)** Chinese koel** Common cuckoo (Eurasian cuckoo) (European cuckoo)* Common hawk-cuckoo** Coral-billed ground cuckoo** Crested coua (Crested madagascar coucal) Cuban lizard-cockoo https://soundslikenoise.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/channel-billed-cuckoo.mp3The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the world’s largest parasitic bird, its wingspan measuring up to 1 metre. Birds typically feed in the canopy of large trees, sometimes in groups and occasionally with other fruit eating birds such as Australasian figbirds and cuckoo-shrikes. Wonderful dawn chorus here this morning. We are also witness to families of Coucal pheasants here, who do raise their own young. But when I spoke to her and asked her … Yes, the channel-billed cuckoo is as menacing as it can be annoying, sometimes calling like this in the trees by my bedroom at night. While most other very large cuckoos are rather terrestrial (i.e. The Channel-billed Cuckoo is not considered threatened by human activities, and as such is listed as least concern by the IUCN. All photos and information >> Eastern Koel Eudynamys orientalis. Too bad that navigation system allows them to find their way back to Australia each year, but still, pretty remarkable birds. Posts about Channel-billed Cuckoo written by soundslikenoise. The chicks are fully feathered within four weeks, and leave the nest to clamber about on the branches, although chicks are fed for a number of weeks by the host parents after fledging. Worst night shift bird ever. Hi Cate. Once the chick hatches it kicks out other hatchlings and eggs from the nest and is raised by the host-bird before it flies to its Indonesian homeland. Thanks for your comment Sue. LC Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo. Just before I’m tipped over the edge of insanity the birds leave my home next to Ku-ring-gai to fly north home. The species is a permanent resident in the Bismarck Archipelago, Flores and Sulawesi. [14] The bill is bi-coloured, with a grey base becoming straw-coloured at the tip. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Channel billed cuckoos prefer currawongs and occasionally magpies as babysitters, and since a mob of maggies has been hanging out at our place over the winter, I wonder if we might get an in-situ “fig hawks” or two as well. LC Pacific Long-tailed Cuckoo. The world's largest cuckoo, the channel-billed cuckoo measures between 56–70 cm (22–28 in) long, with a 88–107 cm (35–42 in) wingspan, and weighing between 560–935 g (1.235–2.061 lb). It breaks my heart seeing these poor currawongs attempting to feed these huge birds. Phew.😁. Hi, I live in Aspley , Brisbane and have heard the Koel ( first recording) for 2 years now and last night for the first time this year – I love the sound its constant and peaceful almost mournful – I lstened for a half hour from about 1 am and then fell asleep…. It is monotypic within the genus Scythrops. NE Black-billed Koel. [15] The plumage of the adult is pale grey on the head, chest, belly and back, becoming paler and barred lower down on the belly. [20] Their mating behaviour has been described as involving calling and gift-giving, with the male presenting items of food such as insects to the female. In Payne (2005), p. 93. It’s a great thing having the bird calls and the flower scents all rolled into one memorable marking of the seasons! Hi. From New Guinea they migrate across the nearby islands as far as Timor and the Moluccas. Cuculus praesagus Bonaparte, 1850, The channel-billed cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. [24] Also taken are insects, including beetles, butterflies and grasshoppers, and the nestlings and eggs of birds, including apostlebirds, magpie-larks and noisy miners. Sorenson, Michael D.; Payne, Robert B. The tail is dark grey on top and barred underneath with a black band and white tip at the end. Please could you confirm that recording 3 is also the common koel. Upon hatching the chicks are altricial, being blind and naked. If my memory serves me well I think the cuckoos remain in Australia till about February. [17][18], After the breeding season, in March and April, birds breeding in Australia begin to migrate northwards to their wintering grounds in New Guinea and Indonesia. Scythrops australasiae Shaw, 1812 Thanks for providing the answer I’ve been searching for! Once the chick hatches it is unwittingly fed by the host-bird until it is strong enough to fly north to Papua New Guinea. We heard our first Koel of the season at Eagle Heights, Tamborine Mountain, on September 28th and our first Channel-billed cuckoo while cycling at Tamrookum (about 20km south of … Its loud raucous call makes it more often heard than seen. I’m sure I’ll be cursing it in a couple of months time once the baby is whining for food all day, but it still feels like something kind of special. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The repetitive sound as it waits for them is rather annoying but I do wonder considering what they normally eat what it is being fed. LC Channel-billed Cuckoo. The juvenile is similar to the adult but has pale tips to the feathers of the wings, and the rest of the plumage is buff instead of pale grey. Elsewhere within its range it is migratory. Any ideas what bird it might be? The koels seem to show up in the first week of October each year and generally stay until late February or early March. And yes we hear the pterodactyl-like calls of the parent birds every year in their migration down from New Guinea. Thanks to you. The species is listed as least concern by the IUCN. There are three subspecies, one migratory, the other two resident. They are now a regular feature of our late Springs and Summers. ( Log Out /  The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the largest parasitic cuckoo in the world. Adults are rather shy and they are heard much more than seen. We usually start hearing the birds in Spring, so possibly they’ll start to migrate in a couple of months. In northern Australia their migration coincides with the beginning of the rainy season, leading to the species being given a range of colloquial names such as storm-bird, flood-bird or rain-bird. Spends the middle of the year in eastern Indonesia and New Guinea. Love the currawongs though they mght be chasing off a bit of the birdlife? Koel birds visit Helensburgh every year. Scythrops australis Swainson, 1837 We live in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I always learnt that they use stars and imprinting in the first few years to navigate home. [13] There is some sexual dimorphism in both plumage and dimensions, the female having a smaller bill and paler, more barred undersides. 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22684079A93013251.en, "Turacos, bustards, cuckoos, mesites, sandgrouse", "Channel-billed Cuckoos in New Zealand in spring 1996", "Complement of the list of the birds of New Caledonia", Australasian Bird Image Database: Channel-billed Cuckoo, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Channel-billed_cuckoo&oldid=978288072, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 September 2020, at 00:57. Say 'cuckoo' and a finch-sized bird popping out of a wooden clock every hour probably comes to mind. Unlike many other cuckoos, the young birds do not evict the host's young or eggs from the nest, but simply grow faster and demand all the food, thus starving the others. Your site provided us with the answer that was bugging us for over two weeks now. From memory, I recall the koels first turning up in western Sydney around five or six years ago. It is found in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia; additionally, it is vagrant in New Caledonia and New Zealand. This species can also be encountered in urban parks and gardens where there are fruiting trees … The single call around 1m35s of the recording is what I remember. I have lived in this area for 9 years and never heard it before 2016. They usually target our larger black birds such as the Currawong, Magpie and Raven but they have been known to even do it to a tiny Fairy-wren. Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) bird call sounds on dibird.com. I have a meanacing koel in Albury this week! This bird seems to be getting a lot of attention here! Cuckoos are medium-sized birds that range in size from the little bronze cuckoo, at 17 g and 15 cm (6 inches), to the channel-billed cuckoo, at 630 g (1.4 lbs) and 63 cm (25 inches). Thank you soooo much for posting these recordings. The host species varies depending on the location; the most commonly targeted hosts are ravens, currawongs, butcherbirds and Australian magpies. It mixes beautifully with the piercing screeching and scrawking of the large flock of cockatoos that show up around my place in summer, which all makes for a hell of a wake up call. Channel-billed Cuckoo in a eucalypt tree; note the vermiculation on the front [Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2008] Frontal view of a female(?) Often resembling those of currawongs and magpies (but not ravens), the eggs vary in colour and pattern, measuring 48 x 32 mm. It sang day and night then it went away when the weather got cool again. Channel billed cuckoos currently making a racket at Little Cabbage Tree Creek in Aspley, Brisbane. No matter how cold or wintry it may be (Sydney’s erratic weather), my heart lifts with anticipation of spring when I am surprised by the koels calling out to the neighbourhood to announce their return. Watched a pair of them eating mulberry’s from our tree while every other bird lost their minds around them. Horrible to wake up to them in the middle of the night. [19], The channel-billed cuckoo is often shy, remaining hidden in tree canopies feeding on fruit and most active in early morning and evening. You have posed a question that I have wondered about too. Channel-billed cuckoos are brood parasites; instead of raising their own young, they lay eggs in the nests of other birds. Genus Surniculus - drongo-cuckoos (2 species) Genus Caliechthrus - The White-crowned Koel (Caliechthrus leucolophus) Genus Microdynamis - Dwarf Koel [23] Fruits taken include those of several species of Ficus, including Moreton Bay fig (F. macrophylla), Port Jackson fig (F. rubiginosa), cluster fig (F. racemosa), strangler fig (F. watkinsiana) and sweet sandpaper fig (F. opposita), the fruits of trees in the mistletoe family Loranthaceae as well as the fruits of the introduced black mulberry (Morus nigra). LC African Emerald Cuckoo. The arrival of their distinctive calls marks the passing of another year. It’s very distinctive and unmistakable with its red eyes, grey brown plumage, large size and a huge thick beak, and … The parents seem to hang around for months which makes me think that this would be long enough for their chicks to hatch and be strong enough to fly north. Arboreal and is capable both in trees and on the sunshine coast, Waking me at 4am in Bismarck. 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