Doves and Cuckoos of Flower Hill Farm
Mourning Doves coo and are often observed here in pairs. The cuckoo is elusive and rarely sighted at Flower Hill Farm. These birds are not in the same family. I have them here together for convenience. Mourning Doves are common but the Black-billed Cuckoo is on several lists of concern. Their population seems to be declining. They are very secretive and will occasionally lay eggs in other birds nests but not so often at their European cousins or the Brown-headed Cowbird. They have a voracious appetite for caterpillars. The day I captured the (for me) rare photos of the Black-billed Cuckoo, I was able to get a sequence of his hunting and successfully snaring a hapless grasshopper. I was pretty far away at the edge of the field but he was keeping a close eye on me.
Family ~ Doves – Columbidae
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Family ~ Cuckoos – Cuculidae
Black-billed Cuckoo – Coccyzus erythropthalmus