Cuculus Cuckoo, believed to be Common Cuckoo C. canorus
a web page by Don Roberson

Photos from upper Watsonville Slough, SCZ, at Ford Rd. willows, afternoon of 28 Sep 2012.

This cuckoo initially discovered by Lois Goldfrank on a trip led by Steve Gerow for the Santa Cruz Bird Club field trip early this morning.

The skittish cuckoo was refound numerous times, but most views were distant, and a scope was useful. The cuckoo was seen to catch and consume a huge caterpillar (next two shots). Unfortunately the focus is poor.

Also there is a flight shot as it just took off from perch, and a shot that shows the rump & primaries reasonably well.

This photo shows 6 primary tips behind tertials (actually 7, if you can the one just barely emerging from below tertials), but with a scope we could see that the two longest visible primaries were almost equal in length (one just 1 mm or so longer than the next), to we could actually see 7 or 8 primary tips in the field. Although the bird flew several times — classic Cuculus falcon-like shape in flight — I did not determine the color or pattern of underwing coverts. In the field the rump looked essentially unbarred, and therefore was the 'brightest' part of the upperparts.



  page created 28 Sep 2012  
all text & photos © Don Roberson, except as otherwise indicated; all rights reserved