Last week I wrote about the confrontations I witnessed on a morning walk. A few days later I didn’t even need to walk anywhere. The drama began when a couple of Channel-billed Cuckoos (Scythrops novaehollandae) flew overhead, with their usual raucous cacophony.
The cuckoos split up and one of them circled back for a second even louder lap overhead. The sunlight on the inside of its gullet can be seen through its throat feathers, and its tail feathers are already pretty ragged even though it’s still quite early in the season.
Then the cuckoo’s head jerked up as it looked back:
There was a Pied Currawong on its tail!
The cuckoo swerved away and headed for the shelter of a tree:
It was joined by the second cuckoo, followed by another currawong and several noisy miners. For a couple of minutes the air was thick with currawong abuse and beak-snapping, interspersed with the “mee-mee-mee” of the noisy miners and protesting squawks from the cuckoos trying to shelter in the branches. As more miners arrived, it became too much for the channel-bills, and one fled, pursued by two noisy miners.
It looked as though one miner was about to land on the cuckoo’s back:
This was the last view before the trio disappeared behind the jacaranda:
The second cuckoo followed, pursued by a torrent of abuse from this currawong before it too disappeared behind the jacaranda:
Currawong evensong, perhaps crowing over the day’s defeat of cuckoos: