Little Bronze Cuckoo fed by Golden-bellied Gerygones

posted in: Brood parasitism, Interspecific | 0
Host parent Golden-bellied Gerygone feeding juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“We were down south for a few days to help run some workshops on parenting, research and a silent retreat; had 2 opportunities to watch birds.

Host parent Golden-bellied Gerygone with juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“One morning we walked out of the hotel and crossed over an expressway in the heart of the city, adjacent to the coast. At the end of the overhead bridge we spotted a juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chalcites minutillus peninsularis) being fed by two Golden-bellied Gerygones (Gerygone sulphurea sulphurea) in young Rain Tree (Albizia saman).

Host parent Golden-bellied Gerygone with juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“The birds were at eye level. The two host parents were actively ‘bouncing about’ looking for food to feed ‘their’ young. We saw a number of feeding episodes and all were caterpillars or larvae taken from the trees.

“The juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo would call out frequently to be the fed. The host parents only responded with typical Golden-bellied Gerygone calls when they sensed danger (like our approach); otherwise they were silent.

Juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo calling. Note that its oral cavity is orange-yellow.

“I took the opportunity to take numerous images, especially as the light was strong and plumage appearance varied in the shadows.

Juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“Note that ‘Cuckoos of the World, by Johannes Erritzøe, Clive F. Mann, Frederik P. Brammer and Richard A. Fuller. Helm, 2012’ offers a number of hosts for this cuckoo especially in Australia. It states that Golden-bellied Gerygone is the common host in Malay Peninsula (West Malaysia) but that the Olive-backed Sunbird is also a recognised host in Singapore (just across the crossway from we were watching). Wells 2007 states that the exclusively proven host in Malay Peninsula is the Golden-bellied Gerygone.

Juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“The four images of the juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo (above and below) are provided to showcase bars on the flanks and side of the breast (chevron makings on flank)…

Juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

“In good light there is grey-brown on the sides of the face and neck. The forehead is pale. The eye ring is a light green-yellow and the iris is a rich brown. The base of the lower mandible/bill appears lighter and more red-orange (possibly the oral cavity colour reflected through the mandible?). There is some olive-green bronze plumage on the wings.”

Juvenile Little Bronze Cuckoo.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
28th October 2018

Location: Johore Bahru, Johore, Malaysia
Habitat: Heart of the city near the coast

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