Monday, May 19, 2008

Black-billed Cuckoo


Yesterday, as I washed the lunch dishes I watched a Northern “Baltimore” Oriole fly into a wooded ravine across the hollow behind my home. This evening, with the intention of trying to relocate the Oriole, I walked into the area, set up my folding chair and sat a spell. I was fortunate in that I was able to observe the female Oriole busily engaged in nest building while the male stood guard; but that is a story for another post.

As I was returning home a jay sized bird flitted through the underbrush and landed where I was able to capture this image. I couldn’t identify the bird so upon loading the images on the computer I referred to Audubon’s field guide.

I learned that this bird, the Black-billed Cuckoo is quite reclusive, spending most of it time in the thick underbrush and is rarely seen. The favored food of the Black-billed Cuckoo is hairy caterpillars with the gypsy moth listed along with tent caterpillars. The gypsy moth outbreak underway this year will keep these birds well fed over the coming weeks.

10 comments:

Island Rambles Blog said...

Gosh I love the Kingfisher photo below and the Black Billed Cuckoo one on here today...my kingfisher photo is not near as good as this one...I found your blog on Sky Watch and really like your photos..I will browse through more of your blog..and come back again.....cheers from Canada.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. I would never have expected to see this bird this morning but here it is. Nice photograph. I am sure glad you got over there and waited to take the pictures. Is the gypsy moth outbreak the reason for it being there or is this part of its normal territory?

Rose said...

Wonderful photo...I have never seen one of these either around here or Tennessee. So went and listened to their song wondering had I heard them, but I haven't.

fishing guy said...

Salty: Wonderfully done, I enjoyed the photo and the post. Seeing birds can be so enjoyable.

ASH's Eye said...

This definitely qualifies as a great "capture," since this guy is reclusive and rarely seen. I have never seen one, for sure.

Did you know that there is an oriole nest hanging above the road that leads down to Pap's fording? There's a sycamore that overhangs the road just after it starts to slope down, and the nest is in the high part of the tree, in the branch that leans out the farthest. Mom and I found it when I stopped by to pick up the cat :)

We also saw a pair of yellow warblers snarfing up caterpillars in that same area.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Stunning Capture Salty... we have Cuckoos over here. They are summer visitors and well known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers. Like your ours are more often heard than seen.

Stacey Huston said...

what a beautiful and rare find salty.. thanks for sharing.. your photos are wonderful..The kingfisher and the beautiful woodducks.. thanks so much

photowannabe said...

Isn't it amazing that the enemy (gypsy moth) is the prize of the other. Terrific shot Salty. Thank you for the information.

fishing guy said...

Salty:
I have chosen your sight for a blog award "You Make My Day". Please pop over and accept the award if you wish.

DeeMom said...

What a Thrill this must have beenfor you THERE seeing it. Glad you shared

WOW

I have been away from the PC for several days because our new puppies developed PARVO.
I did not want to post sad news, NOW there is POSITIVE NEWS on our Pups.

Now you know why I have not been to your blogs…
We will take a few more days to recoup and then be back with hopefully fabulous pictures of the puppies looking soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better.

Happy Memorial Day to all have a extraordinary weekend with family and friends