Do Birds love Caterpillars?
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley & Ged Tranter


caterpillar vs Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen)
(Photo: courtesy of Harold McQueen)


Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) with another juicy caterpillar
(Photo: courtesy of Harold McQueen)

Danaus plexippus
who said these caterpillars are poisonous?
Danaus plexippus caterpillar attacked by Black-Eared Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx osculans)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)

These cuckoos typically find food by sitting still and watching. They'll then fly to a branch, or into grasses below and emerge with a caterpillar. They'll then sit on a branch and proceed to slap the caterpillar against the branch to disable it, and to dislodge as many bristles, etc., as possible, before wolfing it down in one gulp.


Doratifera quadriguttata vs Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
who said these caterpillars sting?
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


Doratifera quadriguttata vs Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
one just needs to hold them carefully
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


yet another caterpillar attacked by Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


and yet another caterpillar attacked by Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


a caterpillar attacked by Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


another caterpillar attacked by another Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


yet another caterpillar attacked by another Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)


another caterpillar attacked by Little Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus)
(Photo: courtesy of Ged Tranter, Brisbane, Queensland)



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(written 15 December 2019, updated 13 January 2020)