This morning I was aware that a pair of Fan-tailed Cuckoos (Cacomantis flabelliformis - see below) were doing a call and response routine in the grdean so took myself off to see if I could score a photo or two - possibly an X-rated action shot. The first bird located was a male, perched in the base of a crab-apple tree.
this Jack Russell).
I then shifted the cuckoo out of canine sight and left it to recover. I did take the opportunity to photograph the diagnostic yellow eye-ring!
- It was studying art-history and planning a dissertation on "Mark Rothko: the blue period in rural Australia"; or
- It had somehow become mesmerised by the boring phenomenon into which it had been thrust (not necessarily ruling out option 1).
About an hour later I became aware that a bunch of assorted thornbills were making a ruckus in the Cypress so went down to see what was going on. I wondered if I might be getting an additional image of a reptile. No. it was just the thornbills demonstrating their view on evil prophets (see discussion of genus name below).
Ian Fraser and Jeannie Gray on this species were worthy of wider dissemination.
- The genus name combines Greek 'kakos" = evil and "mantis" = prophet. Personally, I reckon hearing one of these birds in the area is bad news for fairy-wrens and thornbills who are hoping for a happy family life and no further explanation of that name is needed. .
- The specific component comes from Latin, with "flabellum" = a small fan or fly whisk and "forma" = shape. I take heart from that, in so far as being able to assume that any references to my being 'flabby' mean I look like a fly whisk rather than being a porker (which is, unfortunately more truthful).
Overall, I think I would now change the scoreline to "Window 0 Fan-tailed cuckoo 0 Dog 0".