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13

Pallid Cuckoo

(Cuculus pallidus)
Alternate name(s): "Grasshopper Hawk", "Harbinger-of-Spring", "Stormbird*", "Rainbird*", "Semitone-bird", "Scale-bird", "Brainfever-bird"
Aboriginal name(s): "djoodorn" (WA)

Size: 28-34 cm
Weight: 90 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 Pallid Cuckoo at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

MALE

Close-up lateral view of a male Pallid Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2010]

Here the same Pallid Cuckoo as above issuing its loud call
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2010]

Lateral view of a male Pallid Cuckoo; this is the bird whose call was recorded on 27 July 2014
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2014]

Pallid Cuckoo on a power line
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Immature Pallid Cuckoo behaving strangely, by staying on the ground while being approached by an observer
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, October 2016]

Lateral view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo on a power line; note the drooping wings, which is often observed in this species (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[The Granites Gold Mine, inland NT, June 2015]

Near-dorsal view showing the pale patch at the back of an immature Pallid Cuckoo's head
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Dorsal view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2017]

Lateral view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo moulting into its first adult plumage; hints of rufous feathers may indicate that this bird is developing into a rufous-morphology female
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2017]

Dorsal view showing the pale patch at the back of an immature Pallid Cuckoo's head (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Boolardy Station, Murchison, WA, August 2016]

Dorsal view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Willie Wagtail was clearly not pleased by the Pallid Cuckoo's appearance
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Here again Willie Wagtail objects to the presence of an immature Pallid Cuckoo
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Near-frontal view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo starting to moult into adult plumage
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Near-frontal view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo starting to moult into adult plumage
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Lateral view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo starting to moult into adult plumage
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Frontal view of a juvenile Pallid Cuckoo
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

Near-dorsal view of the same juvenile Pallid Cuckoo as shown above
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

White-plumed Honeyeater making it clear to a Pallid Cuckoo that it is not welcome
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

Breeding information

As all cuckoos, Pallid Cuckoos host on smaller bird species. One potential host species is the White-plumed Honeyeater.

Behaviour

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

Food, Diet

Like most other cuckoos, Pallid Cuckoos are insect hunters. They take their prey from foliage and from the ground. This species has a rare taste for hairy caterpillars, which most other birds dislike.

Lateral view of an immature Pallid Cuckoo with its prey (which looks like a small beetle)
[Eulah Creek, 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.

palcuck_20140727.mp3 dumetorum
(NW NSW)
Contact call (male) © 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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