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Cacomantis flabelliformis

Fan-tailed Cuckoo at Bonython, ACT

Cacomantis flabelliformis at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023
Cacomantis flabelliformis at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023
Cacomantis flabelliformis at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023
Cacomantis flabelliformis at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023
Cacomantis flabelliformis at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023
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Identification history

Cacomantis flabelliformis 12 Mar 2023 natureguy
Cacomantis flabelliformis 11 Mar 2023 Liam.m
Cacomantis variolosus 11 Mar 2023 MatthewFrawley
Eudynamys orientalis 27 Feb 2023 CarbonAI
Cacomantis variolosus 27 Feb 2023 RodDeb

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User's notes

the pattern of the marking on the underparts and the dark eye with the lack of a yellow eye-ring show it is a Brush Cuckoo not a Fan-tailed Cuckoo - confirmed on eBird by moderator Kim after notifying us that it was an unusual sighting for this area so was treated as a rare sighting. Not the best pics but it was scared off by a Red Wattlebird a short time after these pics were taken. Also confirmed on ABID as a Brush Cuckoo.

5 comments

Liam.m wrote:
   11 Mar 2023
natureguy wrote:
   12 Mar 2023
Yes I agree, looks like a Fan-tailed to me, this bird is pretty dark plain brown whereas immature Brush has very buffy mottling and striping throughout the plumage. The eye-ring is also often indistinct or absent in immature birds so I see no reason to count that feature as conclusive either way, and again, the patterning on the underparts looks like Fan-tailed not Brush to me. Also given the fairly open habitat in an urban area it is more likely to be a Fan-tailed (though not 100% guaranteed), but combined with the other features I'm pretty convinced. It might help to have a look at some of the other images on CNM or eBird of both species immatures to see what I'm talking about if you're not convinced. e.g. this Fan-tailed, which has the typical brown underparts but no yellow eye-ring Cacomantis flabelliformis (Fan-tailed Cuckoo) , and this one of yours Cacomantis variolosus (Brush Cuckoo) which is a typical immature Brush with very buffy plumage.
   12 Mar 2023
Think this one, and at least one of the other examples you have given are open for debate on the correct identification.
Liam.m wrote:
   12 Mar 2023
I wholeheartedly agree with Luke on this. The bird pictured in this sighting is a much better fit for a young Fan-tailed than a young brush (for the reasons he has stated above). I saw a similar bird a few years ago, and was also told by the moderator at the time (not Kim) that it was a young brush, for the same reasons as she stated (i.e. lack of yellow eye ring and marking of underparts). This bird was also a young Fan-tailed (see ebird list https://ebird.org/australia/checklist/S27252978). Both the examples Luke has provided have been correctly identified. As he said, the eye-ring in young birds is often indistinct or absent, so it is not a good ID point. Moreover, the patterning in young Brush and Fan-tailed cuckoos differs quite noticeably, and though Fan-tailed can appear quite mottly, they lack the buffiness and more distinct barring present in young Brush cuckoos.
RodDeb wrote:
   12 Mar 2023
thanks all, wish we had got pics of it out in the open before the Red Wattlebird chased it off but it was too quick. Had a look at the ebird sighting given and could see a pale eye ring on that bird. So are on the fence could be one or the other, unfortunately the bird was not telling.

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Nearby sightings

Page 1 of 1 - image sightings only 80 3 76

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris (Eastern Spinebill) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb Pachycephala pectoralis (Golden Whistler) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb Clubionidae (family) (Sac Spider) at Bonython, ACT - 22 Mar 2023 by RodDeb Pardalotus punctatus (Spotted Pardalote) at Bonython, ACT - 22 Mar 2023 by RodDeb Hemicordulia australiae (Australian Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Cordulephya pygmaea (Common Shutwing) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Ocybadistes walkeri (Green Grass-dart) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Vespula germanica (European wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Junonia villida (Meadow Argus) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Zosteria rosevillensis (A robber fly) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Phalaenoides tristifica (Willow-herb Day-moth) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Ocybadistes walkeri (Green Grass-dart) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb Chironomidae (family) (Non-biting Midge) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb Acanthiza pusilla (Brown Thornbill) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb Smicrornis brevirostris (Weebill) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb Psephotus haematonotus (Red-rumped Parrot) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb Anhinga novaehollandiae (Australasian Darter) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb Perca fluviatilis (Redfin) at Bonython, ACT - 24 Apr 2022 by RodDeb Iridomyrmex purpureus (Meat Ant) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2022 by RodDeb Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb Oenothera stricta subsp. stricta (Common Evening Primrose) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb Chauliognathus tricolor (Tricolor soldier beetle) at Bonython, ACT - 13 Mar 2022 by RodDeb Cisticola exilis (Golden-headed Cisticola) at Bonython, ACT - 18 Feb 2022 by RodDeb Idalima affinis (A day flying moth) at Bonython, ACT - 11 Feb 2022 by WarrenRowland Malurus cyaneus (Superb Fairywren) at Bonython, ACT - 11 Feb 2022 by WarrenRowland Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2021 by RodDeb Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2021 by RodDeb Melithreptus lunatus (White-naped Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb Caligavis chrysops (Yellow-faced Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb Acrocephalus australis (Australian Reed-Warbler) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb Oxyura australis (Blue-billed Duck) at Bonython, ACT - 10 Sep 2021 by RodDeb Sturnus vulgaris (Common Starling) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb Gymnopilus sp. (Gymnopilus) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jul 2021 by RodDeb Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 23 May 2021 by RodDeb Aquila audax (Wedge-tailed Eagle) at Bonython, ACT - 23 May 2021 by RodDeb Heteronympha merope (Common Brown Butterfly) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Apr 2021 by RodDeb Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Apr 2021 by RodDeb Iridomyrmex purpureus (Meat Ant) at Bonython, ACT - 14 Feb 2021 by RodDeb Camponotus aeneopilosus (A Golden-tailed sugar ant) at Bonython, ACT - 14 Feb 2021 by RodDeb Junonia villida (Meadow Argus) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb Sphex sp. (genus) (Unidentified Sphex digger wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb Ischnura heterosticta (Common Bluetail Damselfly) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Nov 2020 by RodDeb Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Sep 2020 by RodDeb Anhinga novaehollandiae (Australasian Darter) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Sep 2020 by RodDeb Ardea alba (Great Egret) at Bonython, ACT - 20 Apr 2020 by RodDeb Philemon corniculatus (Noisy Friarbird) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb Lucilia cuprina (Australian sheep blowfly) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Oct 2019 by RodDeb Ptilotula penicillata (White-plumed Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Oct 2019 by RodDeb Sceliphron laetum (Common mud dauber wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb Aythya australis (Hardhead) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb Psephotus haematonotus (Red-rumped Parrot) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb Chenonetta jubata (Australian Wood Duck) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb Sceliphron laetum (Common mud dauber wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Jan 2019 by WarrenRowland Ptilotula penicillata (White-plumed Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2018 by WarrenRowland Malurus cyaneus (Superb Fairywren) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2018 by WarrenRowland Acanthiza reguloides (Buff-rumped Thornbill) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2018 by Alison Milton Acacia boormanii (Snowy River Wattle) at Bonython, ACT - 24 Sep 2016 by michaelb Bidens pilosa (Cobbler's Pegs, Farmer's Friend) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2016 by michaelb Cygnus atratus (Black Swan) at Bonython, ACT - 26 Dec 2015 by michaelb Grevillea sp. (Grevillea) at Bonython, ACT - 12 Oct 2015 by michaelb Eucalyptus sideroxylon (Mugga Ironbark) at Bonython, ACT - 5 Jul 2015 by michaelb Banksia ericifolia subsp. ericifolia (Heath-leaved Banksia) at Bonython, ACT - 21 Jun 2015 by michaelb
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris (Eastern Spinebill) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb
Pachycephala pectoralis (Golden Whistler) at Bonython, ACT - 10 May 2023 by RodDeb
Clubionidae (family) (Sac Spider) at Bonython, ACT - 22 Mar 2023 by RodDeb
Pardalotus punctatus (Spotted Pardalote) at Bonython, ACT - 22 Mar 2023 by RodDeb
Hemicordulia australiae (Australian Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Cordulephya pygmaea (Common Shutwing) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Ocybadistes walkeri (Green Grass-dart) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Vespula germanica (European wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Junonia villida (Meadow Argus) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Zosteria rosevillensis (A robber fly) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Phalaenoides tristifica (Willow-herb Day-moth) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Ocybadistes walkeri (Green Grass-dart) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer) at Bonython, ACT - 7 Feb 2023 by RodDeb
Chironomidae (family) (Non-biting Midge) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb
Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb
Acanthiza pusilla (Brown Thornbill) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb
Smicrornis brevirostris (Weebill) at Bonython, ACT - 15 Oct 2022 by RodDeb
Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb
Psephotus haematonotus (Red-rumped Parrot) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb
Anhinga novaehollandiae (Australasian Darter) at Bonython, ACT - 4 Jun 2022 by RodDeb
Perca fluviatilis (Redfin) at Bonython, ACT - 24 Apr 2022 by RodDeb
Iridomyrmex purpureus (Meat Ant) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2022 by RodDeb
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb
Oenothera stricta subsp. stricta (Common Evening Primrose) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb
Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer) at Bonython, ACT - 27 Mar 2022 by RodDeb
Chauliognathus tricolor (Tricolor soldier beetle) at Bonython, ACT - 13 Mar 2022 by RodDeb
Cisticola exilis (Golden-headed Cisticola) at Bonython, ACT - 18 Feb 2022 by RodDeb
Idalima affinis (A day flying moth) at Bonython, ACT - 11 Feb 2022 by WarrenRowland
Malurus cyaneus (Superb Fairywren) at Bonython, ACT - 11 Feb 2022 by WarrenRowland
Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2021 by RodDeb
Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2021 by RodDeb
Melithreptus lunatus (White-naped Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb
Caligavis chrysops (Yellow-faced Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb
Acrocephalus australis (Australian Reed-Warbler) at Bonython, ACT - 25 Nov 2021 by RodDeb
Oxyura australis (Blue-billed Duck) at Bonython, ACT - 10 Sep 2021 by RodDeb
Sturnus vulgaris (Common Starling) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb
Gymnopilus sp. (Gymnopilus) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Aug 2021 by RodDeb
Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jul 2021 by RodDeb
Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 23 May 2021 by RodDeb
Aquila audax (Wedge-tailed Eagle) at Bonython, ACT - 23 May 2021 by RodDeb
Heteronympha merope (Common Brown Butterfly) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Apr 2021 by RodDeb
Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Apr 2021 by RodDeb
Iridomyrmex purpureus (Meat Ant) at Bonython, ACT - 14 Feb 2021 by RodDeb
Camponotus aeneopilosus (A Golden-tailed sugar ant) at Bonython, ACT - 14 Feb 2021 by RodDeb
Junonia villida (Meadow Argus) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb
Sphex sp. (genus) (Unidentified Sphex digger wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb
Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 17 Jan 2021 by RodDeb
Ischnura heterosticta (Common Bluetail Damselfly) at Bonython, ACT - 8 Nov 2020 by RodDeb
Streptopelia chinensis (Spotted Dove) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Sep 2020 by RodDeb
Anhinga novaehollandiae (Australasian Darter) at Bonython, ACT - 2 Sep 2020 by RodDeb
Ardea alba (Great Egret) at Bonython, ACT - 20 Apr 2020 by RodDeb
Philemon corniculatus (Noisy Friarbird) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb
Lucilia cuprina (Australian sheep blowfly) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb
Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail) at Bonython, ACT - 3 Jan 2020 by RodDeb
Hemicordulia tau (Tau Emerald) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Oct 2019 by RodDeb
Ptilotula penicillata (White-plumed Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Oct 2019 by RodDeb
Sceliphron laetum (Common mud dauber wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb
Aythya australis (Hardhead) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb
Psephotus haematonotus (Red-rumped Parrot) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb
Chenonetta jubata (Australian Wood Duck) at Bonython, ACT - 28 Jan 2019 by RodDeb
Sceliphron laetum (Common mud dauber wasp) at Bonython, ACT - 6 Jan 2019 by WarrenRowland
Ptilotula penicillata (White-plumed Honeyeater) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2018 by WarrenRowland
Malurus cyaneus (Superb Fairywren) at Bonython, ACT - 31 Dec 2018 by WarrenRowland
Acanthiza reguloides (Buff-rumped Thornbill) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2018 by Alison Milton
Acacia boormanii (Snowy River Wattle) at Bonython, ACT - 24 Sep 2016 by michaelb
Bidens pilosa (Cobbler's Pegs, Farmer's Friend) at Bonython, ACT - 9 Apr 2016 by michaelb
Cygnus atratus (Black Swan) at Bonython, ACT - 26 Dec 2015 by michaelb
Grevillea sp. (Grevillea) at Bonython, ACT - 12 Oct 2015 by michaelb
Eucalyptus sideroxylon (Mugga Ironbark) at Bonython, ACT - 5 Jul 2015 by michaelb
Banksia ericifolia subsp. ericifolia (Heath-leaved Banksia) at Bonython, ACT - 21 Jun 2015 by michaelb

Location information

Species information

  • Cacomantis flabelliformis Scientific name
  • Fan-tailed Cuckoo Common name
  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 Abundance
  • 27 Feb 2023 12:30 PM Recorded on
  • RodDeb Recorded by

Record quality

  • Images or audio
  • More than one media file
  • Confirmed by an expert moderator
  • Nearby sighting(s) of same species
  • GPS evidence of location
  • Description
  • Additional attributes
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