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Nature Reserve & Biological Station

  • Writer's pictureunpocodelchoco

Banded Ground-Cuckoo attracts birders

Last week was absolutely crazy. After our sighting of the Cuckoo on the 13th I published a photo in the database of avesecuador. I was actually just thinking of submitting this in order to know more about the distribution of this very rare bird. On Sunday then Roger Ahlman, bird guide and photographer contacted me and on Tuesday he visited together with three other well-known bird guides our friend Rudy Gelis and Charlie Vogt and Jonas Nilsson from Andean Birding. Although I had seen the Cuckoo the day before and several times in the morning that day, the four didn’t get to see it in the afternoon. But just when they left for a walk in the forest, I saw it again next to the station. Wilo ran after them, but when they arrived back at the station, exhausted and sweating from jogging uphill the Cuckoo was gone again. Wednesday morning they were luckier then. Roger saw the Cuckoo early in the morning and by 8 am all of them had seen it. While we were having breakfast then, the Cuckoo came out on the trail in order to warm up in the sun. Roger made a beautiful photo of that. We noticed that the army ants were swarming again and the Cuckoo stayed in the vicinity of the station for quite a while. Shortly before the four were about to leave Jonas went back to the trail again and came back with the news that there are two individuals. We had suspected something like that already, as the Cuckoo had a tick on the right eye on some photos and on some it didn’t. The blue around the eye also looked different How crazy: two cuckoos!!!

Rudy, Roger, Charlie and Jonas: a couple of crazy birdes enjoying the cuckoo!

On Thursday Rudy came back with a group of polish scientist and stayed two nights. Good for them, because they only got to see the Cuckoos on their last morning on Saturday. Ian Campbell and Sam Woods from Tropical Birding also came on Friday night and were lucky enough to find the Cuckoos Saturday morning. Our next visitors Renato and Paola from the Pululahua Hostal unfortunately didn’t get to see the bird on Sunday, although they heard it.

Banded Ground Cuckoo

Banded Ground Cuckoo

Today then I saw the Cuckoo again early at 7 am in the morning enjoying the warm sun next the one of the outhouses. At 10 am I found it again: It was around an ants swarm and foraging together with a couple of Immaculate Antbirds. It was very tame again, so I walked away to get some beetle larvaes and grasshoppers. I cut off the grasshopper’s legs and layed these out in front of the Cuckoo. After a minute or so it came closer and ate everything. I repeated this two more times and the Cuckoo seemed to enjoy its extra meal.

Video Snapshot

So we will see how this story continues…..tomorrow we’ll have more visitors and I hope the Cuckoo shows up again. We’ll see if we can maybe habituate it in order to promote its conservation and protection of the little bit of Chocó that’s left in this region.

This blog post was written by Nicole

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