The visit of our Banded Ground-Cuckoo didn’t last very long this time. Feels like it just wanted to say hello shortly and let us know it is alright.
Wilo and Christian followed the cuckoo last Tuesday until it hopped up a tree where it roosted that night. It was very close to the trail between the houses. I think it was actually not roosting there before, but we distracted it that much in the afternoon that it stayed close.
I phoned two Swiss birders in Mindo who had stayed at the reserve the week before. They were so excited to hear that the Cuckoo was there again and as we knew where it was sleeping that night they decided to get a pick-up to our place early in the morning.
The Swiss arrived at 5.45 AM the next morning. It was still dark and two Wattled Guans were noisily calling next to the houses. At 6.00 AM the light got better and we could observe the Cuckoo in its tree right from the trail. It woke up cleaning and preening itself and let us wait for about 15 minutes until it decided to come down from the thin tree it had spent the night in. I got a little bit closer, just to throw one first grasshopper and let it know that we had breakfast for it. And it understood quickly. After a few minutes we had the Cuckoo sitting right in front of us next to the trail and I fed it its grasshopper snacks as so many times before. The bigger ones it also picked from my fingers. The Cuckoo stayed with us for about an hour until my grasshopper box was almost empty. It took one last grasshopper snack and disappeared into the dense understory vegetation….
…that was our last sight of it so far. It did not roost again in the same tree, neither did it show up the next mornings when I called and searched for it.
But the Swiss birders were more than happy and we were actually also relieved to see that our cuckoo is still around. As there were/are no army ants around it might just be wandering around searching for food until another army ant swarm crosses its territory.