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Mh hou gwa! Indian Cuckoos are Back!
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Author:  zep [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Mh hou gwa! Indian Cuckoos are Back!

Heard Indian cuckoos calling this morning, a sure sign that the summer season has arrived.

Indian cuckoos are the ones with the four note call - the second note slightly lower than the first, then back up again on the third and lower still for the fourth.

When they first arrive it sounds something like "what a nice day" but be warned - they will be calling non-stop for the next couple of months, sometimes right through the night, so if one is outside your window at 4.30 in the morning it starts sounding more like "shut the f* up!"

Author:  e [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:10 am ]
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what do they look like?

Author:  zep [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:21 am ]
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They look a bit like European cuckoos - the ones of cuckoo clock fame that actually go "cuckoo" - greyish brown with black and white stripes underneath.

When the first arrive, they are a bit shy and keep hidden in the trees, but after a few weeks you can often see them flying around calling to each other.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Indian Cuckoo pic

<img src="" border=1 align=left hspace=10>They look like this, courtesy of Google's image search.
Is this correct, Zep, as our resident expert on the local flora & fauna? :D

Author:  e [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 10:44 am ]
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they look pretty. i hope they are not too loud.

calling non-stop? don' t they rest? or do they take turns to call? mr 3 would be very busy watching them. :)

Author:  Alan [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:16 pm ]
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You can hear the Indian cuckoo <a href="">here</a>.

Author:  webdog [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:01 pm ]
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that's the 'Hallo bird'! My wife and I gave it the name ourselves because they sound like saying hallo hallo all the time, but we also wonder what's their real name. Thanks guys!

Author:  zep [ Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:12 pm ]
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Wonderful! Instant pictures and sound! Yes, that's the one. I've a feeling we'll be hearing a whole lot more of that catchy tune soon.

I wonder if they ever do sleep while they are are in season - I heard one last year outside our house which did literally go on all day and all night.

Author:  Pooh [ Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:05 am ]
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zep wrote:
I wonder if they ever do sleep while they are are in season - I heard one last year outside our house which did literally go on all day and all night.

Yes, they go on all day and all night - day after day, night after night. Their singing is the only sound I can hear in the middle of the night, other than the barkings of the dogs. However, dogs just bark occasionally. They sing all the time. These days I can't sleep without wearing my ear plugs. :x When will their season end?

Author:  zep [ Sat Apr 26, 2003 12:08 pm ]
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The Indian Cuckoos should all be gone or at least shut up by the end of June. I guess the sound just becomes part of the background after a while, like the chirping of cicadas or the croaking of frogs.

The cuckoos seem very active at the moment, flying around and calling to one another. They have to organise their courtship and mating and selection of nests to parasatise at just the right time, so I suppose that is the point of all this interaction. They must be quite successful to judge by the number around.

Author:  Doggy [ Sat Apr 26, 2003 8:13 pm ]
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Zep, do you know if there is a good, and available, book on Hong Kong birds?

Author:  zep [ Sun Apr 27, 2003 12:15 pm ]
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Yes, the essential reference is:

Birds of Hong Kong and South China by Clive Viney, Karen Phillipps and Lam Chiu Ying.

It is printed by the government printer, so it can be obtained from the Government Publications Centre in Queensway, or from the HK Bird Watching Society, or from most bookshops. There are versions in Chinese and English. The latest edition is the sixth edition, published in 1994.

Incidentally, anyone around Pak Kok this morning might have been lucky enough to see a major annual migration of around 200 Chinese goshawks heading north - they pass through a few days each year around the end of April.


Author:  Doggy [ Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:26 pm ]
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Author:  zep [ Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:10 pm ]
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The Indian cuckoos, just like the cicadas and the bullfrogs just seem to melt into the background as a kind of audio- wallpaper.

Or do other people find them annoying?

Personally I find this kind of background sound one of the things that makes tropical nights so appealing.

Author:  Doggy [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:03 pm ]
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I find one of the most noticeable things about returning to the UK is the sudden lack of the everyday background noise ... it takes a littel while to adjust to the silence in country areas.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Background noises!

Really? I remember all the quite pleasant background noises vividly when growing up in a totally rural area in Europe:
cicadas, cuckoos, frogs, birds, cow bells, and lots of doggies barking!
Quite like Lamma (besides the cow bells), in fact! :wink:

Author:  Doggy [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:04 pm ]
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In my part of Scotland the night noise was usually the falling rain.

Author:  zep [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:15 pm ]
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In my part of Newcastle it was usually broken glass and falling piss artists


Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:13 pm ]
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You mean like Main Street after midnight on a weekend? :lol:

Author:  zep [ Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:26 pm ]
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Something like that!

Now after this heavy rain it looks like all the other performers are going to be muscled out by the bullfrogs. Anyone else lucky enough to be living next to water pipes where the bullfrogs congregate to get extra resonance?


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