By Helen Burns | Dated May 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
What are they and how can you avoid them? While most of us may get through life never needing to think about zoonoses (diseases you can catch from and animal), […]
By Janie Goodyer | Dated January 17, 2018
Pet of the week is a juvenile channel billed cuckoo who was bought into Gordon Vet hospital after having collided with a window. The young bird was examined by Vets and was found to only have a small amount of damage to the tip of the beak. When we attempted a test flight inside the hospital the bird was unable to fly. Due to this we decided to perform radiographs of both wings to check for fractures. Fortunately no damage was seen.
As the cuckoo was healthy, with no obvious injuries, it is most likely not able to fly due to its young age. The cuckoo has now gone off to carers at Sydney Wildlife for some flight practice.
The channel billed cuckoo is the largest species of cuckoo to occur in Australia. This particular species are well known for their loud calls which they make all hours of the night.
A lesser know fact about these birds is that they are a brood parasite. The channel billed cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of magpies, currawongs and members of the crow family. When this happens, the host birds eggs or young are not removed from the nest, but simply do not grow as fast or as large as the cuckoo nestlings. As cuckoo nestlings are very demanding, dominate the nest and steal the other nestlings food, the remaining chicks will often starve. Once the cuckoos have grown and are independent of the host mother, they will migrate to New Guinea and Indonesia during February and March before returning to northern and eastern Australia between August and October each year.