Aust birds    Bird names   News   1-26    Habitats    Key plants    Glossary    Plumage    Nests    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Sponsors    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   W   Y  

13

Brush Cuckoo

(Cacomantis [Cuculus] variolosus)
Alternate name(s): "Square-tailed Cuckoo"
Size: 22-26 cm
Weight: 30-50 g

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 Brush Cuckoo at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "variolosus"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Brush Cuckoo issuing its call (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, October 2017]

FEMALE

Unbarred morphology

Near-frontal view of a female(?) Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead Reserve, Anstead, QLD, November 2018]

Lateral view of a female(?) Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead Reserve, Anstead, QLD, November 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female(?) Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead Reserve, Anstead, QLD, November 2018]

Barred morphology

Dorsal view of a female Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Old Coach Road, South Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-lateral view of an immature female Brush Cuckoo - note the barred underparts and the rufous-edged secondaries
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-lateral view of an immature female Brush Cuckoo - note the barred underparts and the rufous-edged secondaries
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of R. Russell)
[Mount Molloy, QLD, March 2013]

Lateral view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, December 2013]

Lateral view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Upper Little River Road, North Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2014]

Lateral view of a immature Brush Cuckoo, different posture (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Upper Little River Road, North Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2014]

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2012]

Lateral view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of R. Russell)
[Mount Molloy, QLD, March 2008]

Lateral view of a juvenile Brush Cuckoo (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2012]

This dependent Brush Cuckoo chick was seen being fed by a pair of White-throated Honeyeaters
(photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2012]

As young cuckoos do, this Brush Cuckoo chick outgrew its parents, a pair of White-throated Honeyeaters, in no time
(photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, September 2012]

Race "dumetorum"

ADULT

FEMALE

Near-lateral view of a Brush Cuckoo; note the characteristic, inconspicuous grey eye-ring - the almost invisible barring on the front indicates that this is the so-called "unbarred" morphology of a female; this is the bird whose call was recorded on 16 August 2014
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of a Brush Cuckoo; this is the bird whose call was recorded on 16 August 2014
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of a Brush Cuckoo
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: ? Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Solitary

Food, Diet

Like most other cuckoos, Brush Cuckoos are insect hunters. They take their prey from foliage.

Near-lateral view of an immature female Brush Cuckoo - note the barred underparts and the rufous-edged secondaries - with its prey, a caterpillar (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

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.

brcuck_20141019.mp3 variolosus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
brcuck_20140419.mp3 variolosus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
brcuck_20140526.mp3 variolosus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
brcuck_20141026.mp3 variolosus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
brcuck_20151202.mp3 variolosus
(W NSW)
Male (excited; trills are artefacts) © MD
 
brcuck_pb_20180619.m4a dumetorum
(Top End, NT)
Female (2x) + male © PB
brcuck_20140816.mp3 dumetorum
(Darwin, NT)
(Partial) contact call (female) © 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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.