THE EVER SO ENIGMATIC CUCKOO FINCH

In late December last year I was afforded the opportunity of re-connecting with this highly nomadic summer visitor of seasonal occurrence by way of a kind invitation from Shaun McGillewie of Kroondal near Rustenburg. Canary-yellow in colour with a dark conical bill the Cuckoo Finch, previously known as Parasitic Weaver, was originally assigned to canaries then weavers and is now more closely associated with indigobirds and whydahs. It is brood-parasitic favouring Cisticolas and Prinias to incubate its eggs and look after its young as the two preferred host families in our area. Patterns of appearance throughout its known sub-equatorial summer range are highly erratic.

Numbers relate particularly to high seasonal rainfall and the abundance of seeding grasses in marshy areas and damp open meadows. Normally shy and unapproachable the Kroondal birds in full breeding plumage allowed a close approach by vehicle enabling me to secure a couple of acceptable record shots for our photo gallery.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *