“I was at Bidadari LINK shooting some of the latest arrivals recently when this juvenile Malaysian Hawk-cuckoo (Hierococcyx fugax) surprised me by eating a flower. The favourite food of most cuckoos and most observed must be caterpillars. This is my first time seeing a cuckoo species eating a flower.
“The sequence of images showing the entire process could be summarised as follows:
1. Cuckoo was perched facing the camera (top). A purplish flower can be seen behind the cuckoo.
2. Cuckoo made an about turn to perch with back to camera, and facing towards the flower (above).
3. Cuckoo plunged forward towards the purplish flower (below-top).
4. Purplish flower was plucked and clamped in cuckoo’s beak (below-top).
5. Purplish flower was tossed into cuckoo’s mouth (below-bottom).
6. Reaction of cuckoo a few seconds after consuming the flower (bottom).
“A closer look at the images revealed that only the top part of the flower has been snipped off and consumed. The bottom half of the flower can still be seen after the juvenile plucked the flower.
“Is this juvenile cuckoo experimenting with food? Its expression after consuming the flower seemed telling (above).”
Kwong Wai Chong
8th October 2013