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13

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo

(Chalcites [Chrysococcyx] basalis)
Alternate name(s): "Narrow-billed Bronze-Cuckoo", "Rufous-tailed Bronze-Cuckoo"
Aboriginal name(s): "djorit*" (WA)

Size: 14-17 cm
Weight: 26 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2015]

Lateral view of a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2015]

Lateral view of a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2013]

Dorsal view of a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

FEMALE

When a female arrived, the male Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (left) got all excited
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2007]

Male Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo pulling all the stops to impress her
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2007]

Frontal view of a female Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2007]

Lateral view of a female Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2007]

Lateral view of an Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo on the ground
[New Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Near-dorsal view of an Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo on the ground
[New Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Dorsal view of an Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo on the ground
[New Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Pair of Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos on the ground
[New Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo that has just launched itself from its perch
[Glacial Valley, 35 km South-West of Bingara, NSW, March 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo; note the plain colours and the short tail feathers (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, December 2012]

Near-frontal view of an immature Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Bowra, QLD, October 2012]

Near-lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Bowra, QLD, October 2012]

Dorsal view of a juvenile Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo - this bird was found being fed by a female Rufous Songlark; if our idenfication of the adult bird is correct, this is the first documented case of an Horsfield Bronze-Cuckoo hosting on Rufous Songlarks (click on image to see an adult Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo that was found at the same time and location)
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Jan Eggs: 1 Incubation period: Shorter than host's Fledging age: 16 - 18 days

Given the right conditions for their hosts - and depending on geographical latitude - Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos can in principle breed any time of the year.

Juvenile Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo begging to be fed by a male Splendid Fairy-wren (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Bowra, QLD, October 2012]

Juvenile Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo begging to be fed by a female Splendid Fairy-wren (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Bowra, QLD, October 2012]

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

The nest will depend on the chosen host. Above we present a case in which Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos hosted on a pair of Splendid Fairy-wrens.

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 20 x 15 mm Colour: Creamy, with light-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

One of the few diurnal bird species that we have found to also be active at night, especially near full moon.

Together with other birds marking the boundaries of their territory by calling from vantage points, we noticed that the local Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos were quiet for two days during a late cold snap in late October 2008.

Food, Diet

Like most other small cuckoos, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos are insect hunters. They take their prey from the ground.

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo seen by us hunting for insects in Casuarina trees along a creek
[Glacial Valley, 35 km South-West of Bingara, NSW, March 2013]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

hrscuck_20140919.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (male) © MD
hrscuck_20140919_2.mp3 (NW NSW) "Chirruping" calls (male) © MD
hrscuck_20150715.mp3 (NW NSW) "Chirruping" calls (male display flight?) © MD
hrscuck_20150913.mp3 (NW NSW) Various (chasing one another) © MD
hrscuck_20150913_2.mp3 (NW NSW) ? (chasing one another) © MD
hrscuck_20150913_3.mp3 (NW NSW) ? (chasing one another) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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