Common Iora feeding Banded-bay Cuckoo fledgling

In mid-March 2011, Francis Yap a.k.a. fryap encountered a male Banded-bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii) perched in a tree calling out for its mate. The cuckoo has a distinctive call, most often heard than seen during mating seasons. The fact that the tree where it was perching was leafless, made it easy to locate it.

Two months later, at the same site in Singapore’s Lorong Halus, Francis came across a juvenile calling out incessantly for food. Knowing that its foster parent would be the Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia), he had no difficulty locating the feeding of the fledgling. However, photographing the feeding was a challenge as the birds were high up in the leafy canopy of the tree. Persistence paid off and the above composite image shows the juvenile cuckoo adopting a begging posture, with wings fluttering. “Although it may seem at first glance that the cuckoo was aggressively lurching towards the iora, the sequence shows clearly that it was the iora that bent forward towards the cuckoo’s mouth,” wrote Francis.

Francis Yap
June 2011

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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