Horsefield.JPG (16507 bytes)Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysoccyx basalis): is between 145 to 170 millimetres in length. The head is brown, upper parts bronze or purplish-brown that has a green gloss in certain lights. The breast is dull-white with prominent dull-brown bars that do not meet in centre. The throat is streaked not barred.
Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo’s flight is swift, direct and slightly undulating.
The species is found throughout mainland Australia as well as Tasmania .
Eggs are whitish with red-brown or pink spots and speckles.
Over 60 bird species play host to Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo. The commonest are the fairy wrens, warblers and thornbills. They will also parasitise flycatcher and honeyeater nests.
The specimen illustrated had the misfortune to fly into our lounge room window in early December 2005. The bird was stunned but after being photographed recovered and flew off.
We have observed a pair of Blue Wrens raising a Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo chick. The fledgling mimicked the actions of the Blue Wrens by staying close to or on the ground. The chick was at least twice the size of the surrogate parents. They were kept extremely busy feeding this voracious monster.
The Shining Bronze-Cuckoo is similar in appearance.