Monday, 12 October 2009

Shining Cuckoo

Yesterday I visited a friend who lives on the eastern side of the Ohiwa Harbour. Her neighbour had a shining cuckoo hit the window and my friend saved its body for me in her freezer. It was the most stunning little creature about the size of a sparrow but finer built. The species gets its the "shining" part of its name from the superb iridescence of the green plumage on its back, wings and the striking bands on its underside. It lays its egg in the nest of another bird in true cuckoo fashion. They neither build the nest nor rear the chick, thats left up to the grey warbler who by now has already reared a brood of its own.Can you believe this species of little bird spends each winter in the Solomon Islands and flies all the way to New Zealand every September to breed. I can't tell you how far that is but for such a dainty little thing it's a pretty impressive feat!

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