Log on The Birds of Singapore LINK and check out the recent entry on the Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus) LINK. You can get much information on the morphology of the bird, whether male, female or immature. The piece also gives updated information on the status of the species, habitats, vocalisation and nest parasitism habits. However, limited information is available on its breeding biology.
As for food, this is what Slim Sreedharan wrote: “They take their prey from foliage and from the ground. Mainly insectivorous, their food seems to consist mainly of beetles and caterpillars of species such as Hesperiidæ butterflies and Eupterotidæ moths (Robinson & Chasen 1939). The bird rubs hairy caterpillars against the perch to get rid it of the numerous hairs (Chow 2011).”
And Payne (2005) has this to say on the Little Bronze Cuckoo’s food: “Insects, mainly caterpillars (Hesperiidae), and beetles (Coccinellidae), ants, bugs (hemiptera), sawfly larvae and flying ants (Sody 1989, Higgins 1999, BPBM)”
“We know lots about the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) LINK, for example. But there is not much available of this bird’s breeding biology, what it eats and so on. Perhaps we should put out a call for a concerted effort on this,” wrote Slim.
Well, this is a call to bird photographers and videographers, as well as birdwatchers, to keep a sharp eye on the food the Little Bronze Cuckoo takes when they are out in the field. We are aware that it is not always easy to identify small preys with the binoculars. So images are important, as the preys can be sent to specialist biologists for identification, hopefully to the generic level at the least. We also need information on its breeding biology as the current data is sketchy at best.
(Image by Dr Jonathan WK Cheah)
1. Chow, L. 2011. Little Bronze Cuckoo processing a hairy caterpillar. Bird Ecology Study Group website. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2011.
2. Payne, R.B., 2005. The cuckoos. Oxford University Press. 618 pp.
3. Robinson, H.C. & Chasen, F.N. 1939. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. IV: The Birds of the Low-Country Jungle and Scrub. Witherby, London.