Juvenile Malaysian Hawk-cuckoo Eating Flower

on 16th October 2013

“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

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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