Chrysococcyx basalis

General description: 

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo is an olive-brown above with pale scaling and a bronze to green sheen on the back and upper tail. It has a prominent dark-brown eyestripe, with a contrasting white eyebrow stripe above, with both curving down the sides of the neck. The throat is white with fine dark mottling.The underbody is white to cream with dark-brown barring at the sides, with the bars joining in the middle on the upper breast only. The undertail is grey with brown and white barring at the tip and sides. The tail is edged rufous (orange-brown) and the undertail is rufous when spread. Juveniles are similar but duller with faint or no barring on sides of body.

Conservation status: 

Not Threatened.

Diagnostic description: 

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo is an olive-brown above with pale scaling and a bronze to green sheen on the back and upper tail. It has a prominent dark-brown eyestripe, with a contrasting white eyebrow stripe above, with both curving down the sides of the neck. The throat is white with fine dark mottling.The underbody is white to cream with dark-brown barring at the sides, with the bars joining in the middle on the upper breast only. The undertail is grey with brown and white barring at the tip and sides. The tail is edged rufous (orange-brown) and the undertail is rufous when spread. Juveniles are similar but duller with faint or no barring on sides of body.

Behaviour: 

Size: 

17-18 cm. 26 g

Phylogeny: 

Taxonomy:

    Cuculus basalis Horsfield, 1821, Java. Asian and Australasian forms of Chrysococcyx sometimes placed in genus Chalcites. Monotypic. (source: Handbook of the Birds of World)
Distribution: 

Distribution:

    Australia and Tasmania. Winters N to Java and irregularly beyond
Habitat: 

It is found in many wooded habitats (such as open and dry woodland and forest) with a range of understoreys from grasses to shrubs or heath. Sometimes found near clearings and in recently logged or burnt forests. Found in farmland with some trees, orchards, vineyards and urban parks and gardens.

Trophic strategy: 

Feeds mostly on insects and their larvae, especially hairy caterpillars, although it may sometimes eat plant matter. It forages on the ground and in trees, and may sometimes feed in the air on caterpillars lowering themselves to the ground by sticky threads.

Reproduction: 

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo is a nest parasite, like many other cuckoos. It usually parasitises bird species that build dome nests such as fairy-wrens and thornbills, but may also parasitise the open cup nests of other species, such as the White-fronted Chat. The female lays one egg in the host's nest. This egg can sometimes resemble the host's eggs in markings, but not necessarily. If the egg is laid before those of the host, the host bird may build over or abandon the cuckoo egg. Otherwise, the female cuckoo removes one of the host's eggs, or the newly hatched young cuckoo ejects the eggs or nestlings of the host. The host parents incubate the cuckoo egg and feed the young, up to several weeks after it fledges. Breeding season: July to February in south; all months except April and July in north. Clutch size: One Incubation: 12 days Time in nest: 16 days