[texbirds] Re: Hay County Tough Weekend on Cuckoos

  • From: tony gallucci <hurricanetg@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <naturalister@xxxxxxxxx>, Tex Birds <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 08:47:07 -0500

Hi Kurt,

for nearly 40 years i kept records of all birds i found DOR. Yellow-billed 
Cuckoos are one of the most common species hit by cars. as early as the 1970s i 
recognized that they seemed to be disproportionally hit on highways. i spent a 
little time watching them around the place i was living at the time (Big 
Thicket) and noticed their feeding routine involved sitting in trees adjacent 
to fields, pastures, forest openings. from their perches they would dives to 
just above the levels of the ground cover and chase down bugs flying from about 
a foot to three feet above ground, and then swoop up into a tree on the 
opposite side of the open area. for birds using woodlands along a highway or 
road (which serve the function of this 'open area') . . . well, you get the 
picture . . . in the years since i've seen hundreds of cuckoos do this very 
thing, swoop down low and across highways, and think to msyelf 'it's only a 
matter of time'  . . . speculation on my part, but with a basis in stats and 
observation .  . .

all my best,
tony gallucci
ingram/hunt/kerrville, texas

Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 08:06:02 -0500
Subject: [texbirds] Hay County Tough Weekend on Cuckoos
From: naturalister@xxxxxxxxx
To: texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Heading into town Friday I saw a DOR Roadrunner on the shoulder of Limekiln Rd. 
and planned to pick it up on the return from my quick errand into town.Buzzards 
or someone else must have gotten it as it was missing when I came back but 
before I reached the house I came upon a second fresh DOR, a Yellow-billed 
Cuckoo.  That one went into the freezer for a future trip to CS.  Yesterday 
(Sunday July 8) again headed into town I arrived at the stop sign at Limekiln 
and Post Rd. and there in the middle of intersection was another DOR 
Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  Did not look o be in very good shape, and a busy 
intersection, so was left.

We are a mere 4 miles from town on Limekiln but I see many birds DOR lately, 
possibly cause I travel it so much and look for the things (there was also a 
DOR wren and what looked to be a young Scissor-tailed flycatcher at 45mph no 
brake tap, now I am wondering if it was actually another Cuckoo) just in the 
past week.  Not sure why so many birds are getting themselves run over, maybe 
these birds are this years crop and simply lack experience with cars.  

For whatever reason, can't remember seeing a DOR Yellow-billed before, but this 
weekend saw at least 2.  
Kurt JohnsonHays County, just outside San Marcos                                

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