This cuckoo is a quiet, drawn-out whistle that fades away. It identifies the Black-eared Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx osculans) which belongs to the family Cuculidae. During breeding, however, courting males chase females, uttering noisy, lively calls and spreading their tails as they dart about. Its pointed wings allow it to fly swiftly and slightly undulatingly.
Their young are not raised by them; instead, they are raised in another species’ nest. A female lays her eggs singly in a domed nest, especially in the nest of a Red-throat or a Speckled Warbler. Cuckoo eggs closely mimic the chocolate eggs laid by their hosts. The Black-eared Cuckoo is solitary, quiet, and elusive, especially when it is not breeding.
During September-October, they migrate across southern inland Australia and leave in March-April. There is probably no record of passage migrants outside the Arafura and Banda Seas of northern Australia. There is a general trend for migration to flow through Arnhem Land and the Kimberley region.
The cuckoo breeds in mallee and bulloke woodlands, feeding on insects and larvae by perch-pouncing; in its winter quarters, it enters rainforests. Black-eared Cuckoos are approximately 200-210 mm in length. Both adult sexes are similar.
A dull gray-brown on the upper parts with a slight purple-copper sheen on the back, wings, and tail; a paler fawn on the rump; broad cream-white bars under the wings; and a white-tipped tail with concealed white bars.
Black-eared Cuckoo
Black-eared Cuckoo is characterized by a quiet descending whistle, which is drawn out until it fades away.Photo Credit – David Cook
White lines extend over the eye and form a white patch behind the eye; narrow black lines go through the base of the eye and form a black patch over the ear coverts and down the side of the neck. A salmon pink to pale fawn underpart gradually turns cream. The bill and legs are black, and the eyes are brown.
In immature birds, the upper parts are grey-brown; the chin, throat, and breast are pale grey; the tail is darker with a slight sheen. Lines over the eye and patches behind the eye are pale buff; patches over the ear coverts are dark brown.
The Black-eared Cuckoo is characterized by a quiet descending whistle, which is drawn out until it fades away. Also, it gives a livelier pee-o-weet-pee-o-weer in display. In Australia, the breeding season varies by location and rain, generally starting earlier in drier areas. Normally, the nesting and breeding season is August-January. Parasitics lay mainly in domed nests.
Normally, there is one dark chocolate egg, which easily rubs off; long oval, 22 x 15 mm in size. Fieldwren, thornbill, scrubwren, and heathwren nests also contain Black-eared Cuckoo eggs. It has been observed that speckled warblers feed black-eared cuckoo chicks. Chicks leave their hosts’ nests after 18 days.
Black-eared Cuckoo distributions in Southern inland Australia, from the west coast to western slopes of the Great Dividing Range and north to the Tropic of Capricorn.
The bird migrates through northern Australia to winter in the Moluccas to New Guinea. Insects, sandflies, beetles, diptera, and hemiptera are among their food sources. Hairy caterpillars have also been observed to be eaten. It has been observed that most of their food is obtained on the ground, but that they also forage in shrubs and trees.
Read More – Jacobin Cuckoo – Monsoon Bird Waits for Rains to Quench its Thirst
Black-eared Cuckoo
Black-eared Cuckoo – Also, it gives a livelier pee-o-weet-pee-o-weer on display. Photo Credit – Tom Tarrant


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here