Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Ground Cuckoo-shrike
Coracina maxima
(Viewing 4 of 6 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes are one of our sociable species - that is the young of the year remain in a family group and may stay until the following breeding season and even help to feed the young. This is why you'll nearly always encounter Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes in small groups - three is the most common.

In flight, they look quite black and white so it's easy to mistake them for magpies. In some areas where the seasons vary in quality, they can be almost nomadic, looking for the good times whereas in better country, they do return year after year to the same general area, even the same tree! to nest.

As the name suggests, Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes feed entirely on the ground. Because there are several pairs of eyes watching they are extremely difficult to approach and I still have no picture of a feeding bird. They prefer lightly timbered country interspersed with clearings or natural grassland which means they are more frequently found inland than in coastal regions.


Photo: 423201

423201

Photo: 423202

423202 ... Ground Cuckoo-shrike, adult pair.

Photo: 423203

423203 ... The bird on the right with more grey on the breast is probably the male.

Photo: 423204

423204 ... Three birds were attending the nest. Family groups usually number three or four.


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