A channel-billed cuckoo in the Wharf Street area.
A channel-billed cuckoo in the Wharf Street area. Karleila Thomsen

Stone the crows, it's a cuckoo

A NOISY and demanding guest has made the Mary River Parklands in Maryborough its home recently.

Avid birdwatchers have delighted in the antics of the young channel-billed cuckoo that has inhabited the park’s gum trees for the past few weeks.

Wharf Street resident Keith Beavis said he believed the bird was born in a crow’s nest.

“It just sits and squawks and wants a feed all the time and the crows feed it,” he said.

As it has grown the bird has become more curious, venturing into nearby yards.

Local bird enthusiast Alan Peebles said the channel-billed cuckoo was a migratory bird and was Australia’s largest cuckoo.

“It has an unmistakable raucous call; it sounds like something choking,” Mr Peebles said.

The bird grows to 66cm long and has a wingspan of about one metre.

Adults lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

Birds that breed in Australia migrate north to New Guinea and Indonesia in March or April and return to Australia in about October.

They live on a diet of insects, fruit, eucalyptus seeds and the nestlings and eggs of other birds.



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