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Nature Reserve & Biological Station

  • Writer's pictureunpocodelchoco

It’s Cuckoo time again

First of all: The cuckoos are still around!

The two cuckoo individuals and the two army ant colonies are keeping us pretty busy again! One army ant colony is statary and the other one is nomadic. At the beginning our cuckoos were showing up only at the statary colony. They seemed to be taking turns as we were not able to see two of them together for a few days. But then the nomadic colony started to move from the open area next to the station house into the forest and we found both cuckoos together at the ant swarm. Interstingly, our tame cuckoo is showing its courtship behavior again which is even more confusing, because last time it was the juvenile cuckoo showing this behavior towards an adult bird, which we continued feeding afterwards and which also became tame. So now it is a tame adult bird doing the courtship. We can’t be 100% sure which individual it is, but it might be our grown-up Wilito. Who knows? Unfortunately we hadn’t seen the birds for a while, so it is actually pretty difficult to identify the birds on an individual level. And the shy cuckoo most of the time doesn’t even allow us closer looks.

Banded Ground Cuckoo
Banded Ground Cuckoo
Banded Ground Cuckoo

But anyways, in the past week we have been able every day to find both cuckoos around the ants. So we had the chance to feed the tame individual again in front of clicking cameras and smiling faces. And now it is even more interesting, as the cuckoo eats a few grasshoppers and then it takes a big one and starts with its courtship. Mooing constantly, it opens up the blue skin behind its eyes, bowes its head up and down, lifts the tail and moves it in circles. And then it disappears into the dense undergrowth following another constantly mooing cuckoo. Sometimes it comes back again for some more grasshoppers. Yesterday morning the tame cuckoo came back twice to get more grasshoppers, but unfortunately I didn’t have any left. So the cuckoo hang around for some time waiting and inspecting me if I maybe have another snack left. After a while the sun broke through the canopy and the cuckoo moved to a sunny spot, fluffing up its feathers and showing off all the different colors of its plumage. Just beautiful!

Banded Ground Cuckoo Courtship
Banded Ground Cuckoo Portrait
Banded Ground Cuckoo Sunbathing
Banded Ground Cuckoo Sunbathing

This blog post was written by Nicole

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