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Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo

Chalcites basalis


My first time seeing this species! This lovely little bird is distinguished by its green and bronze iridescent colouring on its back and incomplete brown barring from neck to tail. What distinguishes the Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo from other bronze cuckoos is its white eyebrow and brown eye stripe (Wiki).


In sparse trees near the waste water treatment wetlands.


The Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo is known as a brood parasite, this means that they lay their eggs in a host species nest. They mainly parasitise the fairy-wrens in the genus Malurus. It has been well documented that the Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) and the Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens) are the two main species to bare host to the Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, although they may also parasitise other small Passeriformes including Thornbills, Warblers and Scrub-wrens that can be utilised as a secondary host in certain locations. Although the behavioural attributes of a host species may play a role in parasitism, it is thought that the female selects its host through imprinting, remembering the species that it was raised by and ultimately using that species to raise its brood (Wiki). Though this mentions the Splendid and Superb Fairy-wrens as a main host, they are not found here in the Kimberley. Around the area that I spotted this Cuckoo I have seen the Variegated (male and female/immatures) and Red-backed (female or immature) Fairy-wrens. Thank you Lisa Powers for the identification and advice on the scientific name! Reference:

1 Species ID Suggestions

Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo
Chrysococcyx basalis Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo

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LisaPowers 8 years ago

You are most welcome. :-)

armadeus.4 8 years ago

Thank you for your help Lisa! Have updated my spotting :)

LisaPowers 8 years ago

I would go with Chalcites basalis as it is the most current taxonomic nomenclature. :-)

armadeus.4 8 years ago

Cheers Lisa! So if I had gotten this little one in the sunlight I would have been able to see the wonder I couldn't figure it out! :) I do have a question in relation to the scientific name - is it "Chrysococcyx basalis" or "Chalcites basalis"???

According to the Simpson & Day (8th edition) Field Guide published 2010 it is "Chalcites (Chrysococcyx) basalis" and

on this site: in the Taxonomic note it is "Chalcites basalis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Chrysococcyx."

It might not matter but if it does...I have no idea why :D

Spotted by

Western Australia, Australia

Spotted on Oct 17, 2015
Submitted on Oct 17, 2015

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