Brush Cuckoo

Cacomantis variolosus

Order

CUCULIFORMES

Family

Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis (Cuculidae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

CACVAR

ITIS

Egg Color:

White with brown spots around large end, or white with tiny spots of black.



Number of Eggs:

1



Incubation Days:

12



Egg Incubator:

Host



Nest Location:

Nest is built in the host species nest



Nest Material:

Whatever host species nesting material is.



Migration:

Some migrate



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General

Brush Cuckoo: Small cuckoo with gray-brown upperparts, gray head, and gray or buff underparts. Fairly long, pointed wings. Medium, slightly decurved, black bill. Fairly long dark tail with white spots under-tail. Short, pink-brown legs and feet. Forages for insects and larvae, especially hairy caterpillars, by picking them from the foliage of trees and bushes.

Breeding and Nesting

Brush Cuckoo: One egg is laid in nest of host species. Egg color varies and can be pale buff or resemble the color of the eggs of the host species. Common host species include fantails, flycatchers, and honeyeaters. Egg is incubated by the host for 12 days. When the cuckoo hatches, it pushes the other eggs and young out of the nest.

Foraging and Feeding

Brush Cuckoo: Feeds on insects, mostly caterpillars with stinging hairs. It catches caterpillars and other insects by picking them off of foliage in bushes and trees. It mostly forages high in the canopy but can also take prey near the ground. This cuckoo species also rubs caterpillars on branches to remove some of the irritating hairs.

Vocalization

Brush Cuckoo: Call is a shrill, rising "where's the tea.” Song is a descending whistled series of 7-8 “fear-fear-fear...” notes.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X