[va-bird] Black-billed cuckoo

            This morning I was working on the Northern Virginia Bird Survey
along the power-line cut on the south border of Huntley Meadows.  I thought
I was doing pretty well to see 7 purple martins on an antenna.  Then I heard
a black-billed cuckoo calling.  At first I didn't believe it.  Was it a
mocker?  No, it went on for about 2 minutes. Was it some man-made noise.
Nope.  As I walked toward the sound, just as I came sight of the tree that I
guessed it was coming from, the call stopped.  Had the bird seen me and
flown away?  No.  About a minute later an unmistakable cuckoo shape flew out
of the tree.  I could see no plumage characteristics because of the light,
but the only way it wasn't a black-billed cuckoo was if it was a
yellow-billed cuckoo that learned the wrong song.  While some passerines do
this, I don't believe that this is true of non-passerines.

 

So what the heck is it doing here?  Kinda late for migration.  If anyone
want to try to relocate it, it was in the residential neighborhood just
south of the park, right around the intersection of Welford and Fitzroy
(just west of Frye, which you can take from Route 1).

 

Ben Jesup

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