Channel-billed Cuckoo - Scythrops novaehollandiae

Channel-billed Cuckoo

Scythrops novaehollandiae

Family: Cuculidae (Old World (Parasitic) Cuckoos, 11 species in Australia).
Size: 60 cm
Distribution: Within 1000-2000 km of the coasts of northern and eastern Australia, as far south as the south of NSW, with a few patches in VIC.
Status: Moderately common
Habitat: Tall trees
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Channel-billed Cuckoo is Australia's largest cuckoo. Like all Australian cuckoos (except for the Pheasant Coucal) it is a nest parasite. That is, it lays its eggs in the nests of other species of birds. When the eggs hatch, the cockoo chicks kill or eject the chicks that belong to the nest. If you see one of these in a tree, usually there will be a whole lot of other birds all hassling it, sometimes quite severely. The Pheasant Coucal is larger, but it is in a different family and it is not a nest parasite.

Channel-billed Cuckoo - Scythrops novaehollandiae
Photo: Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney NSW. High Resolution (2625 x 1998).

Channel-billed Cuckoo - Scythrops novaehollandiae
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton - Channel-billed Cuckoo - Scythrops novaehollandiae NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.

Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.

This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

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