Channel-billed Cuckoo

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Habitat: Forest, Urban


The Channel-billed Cuckoo is found in tall open forests, usually where host species occur. Can be found in urban parklands.


Often inhabites urban parklands, and heard by its distinctive call. It is often seen in trees eating figs and fruits.


The favoured foods of the Channel-billed Cuckoo are native figs and native fruits, though some seeds, insects and even baby birds are also taken. The birds take figs from the tree with their massive bills.


The Channel-billed Cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, the Pied Currawong, Strepera graculina and members of the crow family (Corvidae). Unlike many other cuckoos, the young birds do not evict the host’s young or eggs from the nest, but simply grow faster and demand all the food, thus starving the others. Often the adult female will damage the existing eggs in the nest when she lays her own and she may even lay more than one egg in a single nest. Breeding season is from August to October.