Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

One day I heard a "smack" into the sliding glass doors that lead to the deck.  Sitting on a rug, a bit feather-mussed, and certainly stunned was a bird I had never seen before.  Of course, I ran to get my camera. 

He or she let me get quite close as it tried to catch its breath and unrattle its brain. 


Very close...
 Extreme close-up...
You can see my reflection in his or her eye.
Well, I couldn't let him or her just sit on the deck as my dogs were giving it the canine glare from inside the house.  So I offered my finger, and it stepped up.
I propped the camera on the porch railing so I could snap a few shots with my left hand.

And I put it up into a lower branch of the oak tree where it could rest and regain its faculties.

It stayed there for about 45 minutes until I walked around the house from the other direction, forgetting it was there, and it flew off as I walked underneath.  I was happy to see it recovered.

I consulted my Crossley Guide for an i.d., and there's no mistaking that yellow down-curved bill, bright white underparts, rufous-colored side feathers and long sweeping tail.  A yellow-billed cuckoo.  What a beauty!

130 comments:

Giga said...

To cudowne przeżycie, taki bliski kontakt z ptaszkiem, który żyje na wolności. Pozdrawiam ciepło

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Amazing pics, that was quite an experience! Glad you were there to help it:@)

Mom of M&Ms said...

oh my goodness! what fun... like the baby bird we found.. that still hangs in our back yard...love it.. and what wonderful shot

Kathy said...

Your heart must have gone pitty-pat when it hopped up on your finger. Amazing.

Samantha said...

So, I've been hanging out in the woods like a maniac trying to get a shot of our black-billed cuckoo...and you have a yellow-billed smack into your house and SIT ON YOUR HAND.
I need a drink. ;)

The White Farmhouse said...

What a good birdie mommy you are. I didn't know a cuckoo was a real bird. I thought it was just the wooden one in a clock. Shows how much I know about birds!

joo said...

Wow, it's a great set again! The first photo is so sweet:)

Mike said...

What great close ups. I had a youngster hop up on my finger last year. I think it was a thrasher, not sure.
Sorry, but the windex commercial popped into my head when I read about it crashing into the door. The 2 crows looking on and laughing. ;)

Jill said...

Lucky bird that it happened to crash into your house. These shots are fantastic. I loved that you got your reflection in the birds eye. Would that be a birds eye view? ;)

Lucy aka Roeann said...

Awwww..so cute!! Poor little guy. And LOL. . . on your rain gauge. That's what I should get here. The weather guys predict it; Mother Nature rules against them.

Patrice said...

I'm so glad you helped him. He's so cute.

Rain said...

So wonderful it jumped on your finger! So glad you were there for her/him! She's beautiful-she knew a kindred spirit! Beautiful pics!!

forestwalk/laura k said...

amazing! beautiful shots!! love the close ups and she was lucky you were there to help her out!! you're ambidextrous!! :)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You're the bird whisperer!!

Sandra said...

amazing and touching story. he/she is so cute and I am happy he/she could fly away. we have had 2 hit our front window, and lay on the ground for a while, but both were able to get up and fly away. i think they see the reflection and think they can fly through it. hard to imagine it climbed on your finger, that is amazing too

Arija said...

It is always a pity to have birds fly into windows but what a wonderful experience for you to have it sit on your finger until it recovered.

Trey said...

That happens here at our house quite frequently. We have our feeders hanging outside of the sunroom windows. The cardinals fly into the windows all the time. I just pick them up and put them in the tree like you did. Kind of fun!

thesedaysofmine.com said...

Great photos! And I have to tell you, when I saw the one of him/her on your finger, my jaw dropped! That's amazing that you were able to get a picture of that.
Glad he/she recovered. Beautiful bird.

Clint said...

Cool. We had a hummingbird fly into our glass doors last year and I was able to pick it up and hold it for about 30 seconds before it took off.

Snappy Di said...

What an amazingly friendly bird! That must have surprised you when he willingly hopped onto your finger... Neato!

Texan said...

How cool was that. Well not cool the poor thing whapped himself into the window. This has happened numerous times here. Sadly some don't get up. But I have got a really good look at a couple birds this way. They actually can knock themselves out cold and still recover.

Coloradocasters said...

Oh wow. That is amazing and so glad you lent a finger to our feathered friend. These shots are beyond fantastic. Once again I am in awe of you and your blog.

edenhills said...

So glad she was just slightly dazed and managed to recover. Great shots!

Teresa

Tricia said...

Awww looks like you made a new friend, TWG... & I love the stones on the walkway there... beautiful! =)

georgettesullins said...

If she/he had to crash, so glad it was with you and at your house. You certainly have a way with creatures.

Snapper II said...

That is amazing. No words to describe it. You are so fortunate.

ellen abbott said...

Very cool. Great pics. I don't think I've ever seen that bird. Glad it recovered.

Dina said...

There's been a few hanging around my area I've heard, but I haven't seen one yet. It was nice to have it show up on your doorstep. So glad you put it on the branch and was paying attention to your dogs. Nice save!

Dina said...
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Dina said...
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Deb said...

wow great shots and a happy ending....

Buttons said...

WOW!!!!!

Mama-Bug said...

This is just plain fabulous! What a gorgeous little bird. Beautiful close-ups!

Montanagirl said...

What a beautiful bird! So glad you could get his marbles back in line. Birds fly into our glass doors too - sometimes it takes them an hour or two to get recollected. I usually set them up high so the neighborhood cats can't get them while they recover.

Lois Evensen said...

So very cute. And, nice that he didn't panic when you went to his aid. Great images from that encounter, too!

Debbie said...

wow....he/she sure did pick the right house to "crash" in to. what a wonderful experience for both of you.

it's a beautiful bird and you sure did get "a birds eye" view!!!

and bravo doing this all by yourself.

ps.....L.O.V.E. the new line up top, i assume the cap is still empty!!!

Allison said...

Really? A cuckoo bird? Wow! I live in the land of cuckoo-clocks and have never seen one of these.

Leontien said...

Very pretty little bird yes, and i would have never guessed what kind it was! We don't have so much birds smacking into our windows here, but in Holland we did... most of them died... pretty sad...

This one looks good though!
Leontien

Roan said...

Silly bird, he knocked himself cuckoo. ;)

How cool is that? You got to hold him. He is a very pretty bird.

Paula said...

Awwww.... poor little feller~ but it's headache was good for some awesome close-ups!
Beautiful little birdie!

holdingmoments said...

A real beauty indeed. Excellent close ups.
Glad he had no lasting damage.

Lorilee said...

I'm so glad it was OK! Love the close-ups.
Blessings,
Lorilee

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

He or she is a beauty! I'm so glad it was okay. I hate when that happens and we have had it happen one too many times.

Susan said...

I hate that sickening sound against the window. So glad it recovered.
Such an amazing encounter you had... fabulous photos too.

Changes in the wind said...

Oh my gosh....what a thrill to have it step onto your finger..

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I am always coming to the rescue of birds smacking themselves cuckoo against the sliding glass doors. Usually they are finches. The thought of their incapacity providing a great photo opportunity never entered my mind. Those are great pictures and I especially like the one of him/her sitting on your finger.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Great shots of this beautiful bird! What a gift. Sorry for his little mishap and glad he recovered. Bless his little heart.

Evelyn S. said...

And what an experience! I think you have wonderful bird experiences, anyway....and they just know your heart for them. ;-) That bill looks a little threatening!

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, how cool is THAT? What a sweet little face. Not sure I have ever even heard of such a bird. I love it when stuff like this happens.

beth said...

SO COOL....well not the mild concussion...LOL
but the photos and the fact that he let you hold him and guide him.....

Gary said...

Great shots and glad it recovered!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

A surprizing pleasure to see, specially from the second picture on.

At first, I thought it was a good looking bird, but when I got to the second picture... Wow! How different, and spectacular he/she is! I love the "smoky" shades of it's feathers!

As for the treatment you gave the little fellow, I could never expect less, from you. You are a treasure!
xxxxx

Susan said...

How beautiful is he (or she)! Wow! A cuckoo. Never seen anything like it before.

Your pictures are awesome, but what I really love is how you helped him.

Gone Country said...

Wow! Amazing photos first of all! And to think you were able to get so close to that beauty! I'm glad to see that it recovered as well. What a great experience!

Furry Bottoms said...

That is amazing!! That she just hopped onto your finger, not afraid of you at all. You've got a tender heart, and I think all the animals who live around you know it! :)

As for the photographs, WOW, I mean look at the details around its eyes. Look a the lines on its legs and claws. Look at those feathers... all so intricately woven in to make it what it is... and you captured all of that. WOW.

lisa said...

Oh my goodness, how lucky you were to be able to capture this. Surely a tame little one. A little cutie for sure!

Martha Z said...

It is a beauty and with very distinctive markings to help with the id.
I often have birds fly into the window and they don't always survive the encounter.

bailey-road.com said...

What an awesome close-up experience! You were able to get some wonderful shots of that little cutie while holding him! I hope he made a full recovery.

Fjällripan said...

What a beauty indeed!!

barbara l. hale said...

What a great experience!! And a beautiful bird. So glad he survived the ordeal.

Ellie said...

Amazing pictures of a lovely wee bird. Glad to hear it was ok.

Birdman said...

Underpants? I'm still laughing.

Sylvia K said...

Yep, love the underpants! What terrific captures and such a beautiful little guy! So glad he got a chance to recover! He does look so stunned in the first couple of shots. I love it that he would sit on your finger! How fun!

Sylvia

Candy C. said...

What a beauty! I like the yellow around the eye!

Robin said...

T, excellent shots! Glad it was alright. I've never seen one of those before. I heard a Cuckoo in England once, but never did see the bird! From what I understand they are quite elusive.

Ms. Becky said...

well I'm happy s/he recovered. so often flying into glass means a broken neck for the little ones. I'm in awe of those shots with it sitting on your finger! wow.

Michelle said...

Awww...poor little bird. Good thing it happened at your place so it got a helping hand. Great pictures. The close ups are a real treat.

Bare bilder - Pictures only said...

Poor little bird, but fortunately, it recovered.
Beautiful bird, and close up shots:)

Randy said...

So nice of him/her to offer so many photo ops.

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

A great find even if it was by accident, Great photos also.
I can see you reflected in those stunned eyes.
Costas

sharon said...

you always have the most interesting birds! I've never seen this bird before. very cool.

Dawn said...

Oh WOW! I can't believe his brain was that rattled that he fell for your finger:)
GREAT captures!!!!

Sharon said...

Poor thing, but it does not seem the worse from the incident! Nice that you were able to get some nice clear shot of it!

Andrew said...

Well done you!
Amazing images of a beautiful bird and even getting to hold it... fantastic.
It's was lovely to hear it made a full recovery...

Melodie said...

So glad that cuckoo recovered! What a great experience,and photo opt,for you!

Farm Girl said...

That is so amazing and what a wonderful looking bird. I am so glad it got on your finger. That is a really nice set of pictures.

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

Actually that is a pretty awesome experience! Both getting the close ups and the CLOSE UP on the finger!

Paula said...

I've had a hummingbird step from the clothesline onto my finger but I guess they get tamer then most birds but it was exciting for me and I'm sure that experience was for you. Neat pictures!

Hilda R.B said...

What a beauty! Amazing photos of it. You are lucky. It is difficult to come closer(hi,hi) You can use macro next time. Have a nice day to you.

Bob Bushell said...

You got closer and closer and closer still, it must be a delighted with the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Last things was it climbing on your finger, can't beat it.

Country Mouse Studio said...

isn't it awesome to get so close, great photos

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

That is the neatest thing that the bird hopped onto your finger! Love your photos of him. I love birds but have never gotten that close to one. You have a great blog! ~Cheryl

AJ said...

Your friend is so sweet and your shots are just awesome!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Great shots!! Are you sure that curved bill didn't happen when it hit?

I hope you're having a good day!!

Bruce Clark said...

Now that is some closeup work...very nice!

Costin Comba said...

I think he or she was so scared. I am happy he/she is ok.

Farmchick said...

That is a beauty and how sweet that it was perched on your finger.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Just stunning pictures! I am amazed!

Louise said...

What a neat bird. And, to think that it was one that you had never seen before. I'm glad it was OK. Nothing is worse than hearing that "smack" and running outside to see a dead bird in the grass.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Texwisgirl, I have never seen a Cuckoo. I am so glad that one recovered. Excellent shots of the bird. I so like the ones where you are holding it. Have a great day tomorrow!

trav4adventures said...

What a beautiful bird! I feed the birds in our front yard. We get doves, finches, orioles, and 1 scrub jay who blew off course and has now stayed in our neighborhood for 2 years!

bon bon said...

he's adorable! and how lucky for him to crash into the house of the most bird-friendly person in all of texas!

Becca said...

WOW!!! I LOVE this! What an amazing set of photos you have. Poor thing, good thing you were there to help her along...We've had a few birds fly in to our windows too, and it always sounds so terrible...I feel so sorry for them. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos!

Genie said...

well, I am pushing you up to the magical 95 comments tonight. What an amazing following you have. My friend, you have certainly earned it with your beautiful photography. I am still at the railing stage compared to you and your talent. Maybe one of these days...I hope. I want this cuckoo in MY yard. He is an absolute dear. Maybe he bought you are part of his extended family. He certainly was cooperative with you and your camera. Thanks for the kind words on my blog...Buddy just sent me some new fabulous photos from his hike - one of him that looks GREAT - so I added them to the post. Thought you might like to know. Genie

Coy said...

Beautiful bird! Too bad it had to have the accident but you made the best of it. Glad to see the bird recovered fully.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful photos -- I'm so glad you have your camera attached to you at all times -- and can't believe you did such a good job when the little guy was actually perched on your hand (I can't take such good pictures with 2 hands!).
The first thing I do when I'm catching up is check your rain gauge picture and I'm sorry it's still empty -- I read the 8/11 update and that really is just not right AT ALL. Sorry.

Joycee said...

Very unusual bird, I'd never seen one! We have lots of cardinals, woodpeckers and chickadees here in the Ozark mountains. A birdbath is as important as feed for them, especially with the heat we've had this summer. So glad he recovered and flew the coop!

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

You always have amazing photos, but this series is super amazing. Seriously, you need to enter them into a contest soimewhere or something. That eye with the yellow ring around it and the feather texture. Just amazing.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The birds misfortune was your good fortune.These are amazing pictures of it.

Chatty Crone said...

That was such an amazing story. It was a gorgeous bird - I haven't ever seen one that close and then he let you hold him - so unusual. Glad he was okay!

missing moments said...

OMG ... what a wonderful experience (well, not for the bird!) to get to hold him and see him so up close! Great great pics and he's a beauty!

Michaele said...

OMG! Awesome! A photographers dream come true!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Theresa, The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo is GORGEOUS.. Wow!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Karen said...

Oh, the poor little thing! Glad it survived and you got some fabulous shots! Last bird that smacked into my back window wasn't so lucky :(

NicoleB said...

What a gorgeous little Beauty! Glad to hear he recovered.
I love that shot with him on your finger and the 'Egret' in the background :D

Catherine said...

I love this! This sweet little bird was certainly in the right hands at the right time ~ someone to help look after him. Love it!
xo Catherine

lisaschaos said...

How nice! What a great opportunity! I'm glad he was ok too, but how nice we got to explore him up close!

Mariette said...

Dearest TexWisGirl,

Incredible photos you show all over your blog! Love those bird shots and got to see your camera gear; no wonder they're high quality and you can zoom in to the bird bath. What a lazy squirrel and beautiful indigo bunting, blue birds and the like you show. We saw ones an indigo bunting visit our bird bath.
Love to you,

Mariette

pattisjarrett said...

What a beautiful bird. Glad you got this chance encounter.

Tiffany said...

Wow, so beautiful. Love how he/she just hopped onto your finger. Amazing.

Tiffany

(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

I imagine with your birdbath and pond you're going to lure in lots of unusual birds who are thirsty in the drought. Great photos and a nice story!

Madge said...

Never heard of such a bird before... lucky for him/her it was your window that was hit, where a kind soul came to assist!

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Oh T,she is so pretty and so sweet looking. I love having an interaction with wild animal. There's something special about you....she trusted you. I'm so glad she was able to fly away unharmed.

Nova said...

Oh yes....a beauty.

Thank you for showing such fotos of your wildlife. I enjoy it every morning with my cup of coffee.

Greetings

Joop Zand said...

My goodness.... what a BEAUTIFUL bird and pictures, great work again.

your a great photographer.

Greetings, Joop

SquirrelQueen said...

I'm sorry the little fellow had a collision with your door but the event gave you the opportunity for some really great shots. I love the extreme close up, that is awesome.

Larry Ostby said...

How fortunate that bird is to have not killed himself. Glass windows and doors take there toll of our feathered friends. To have him take your finger was awesome and to have him fly off even better. Great photos T. Thanks.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

OHHH!!! I'm glad you were there to help it...and photograph it! Loved this one!!! :)

littlethingsoflife said...

After 119 comments ahead of me, what is there left for me to add?? Suffice it to say these are aMAZing photos -- and what a wonderful experience for you to have such a close encounter with this cuckoo bird?!!!! He/she was certainly fortunate to land at the back door of such a Good Samaritan!! :)

heyBJK said...

Those are some of the coolest shots I've ever seen, T! Your reflection in his eye is awesome! I realize it helped that he was seeing double at the time, but they are great photos, nonetheless!

Linda said...

Lovely close-up shots. I don't think I've ever been priviledged to see a bird's eye that close.
North American birds share so many names in common with our British ones, but are very different birds. Our cuckoo is a stonking great lump of a thing, not nearly as beautifully shaded and coloured as yours.

madrassi said...

Mesmerizing shots! You are glad to have him at your finger hold and certainly the bird is very beautiful Tex! Superb

eileeninmd said...

How cool, what a neat experience. Awesome photos of the YB Cuckoo.

bj said...

what amazing photos..

Rose said...

How wonderful to get to hold it...but so sad that that is the only way we ever get to. Unless we get to hold babies.

Hilary said...

Gorgeous critter and what a sweetie you are for helping it to recover. Great post.

nmlong said...

WOW! Sitting on your finger. Such a wonderful experience for you, the bird lover (even if he did have a concussion at the time). Glad he was ok. Great pictures!

Porch Days said...

We have lots of glass and to keep the birds from colliding with it I put up some decals. One summer in VA I looked up into the trees and saw a bird that was unknown to me. A friend told me he was a type of cuckoo. He had polka dots on the underside of his tail. I did a post about him but couldn't find it. Nancy

KaHolly said...

I found it without the search engine. What beautifully clear close-ups! I made reference to this post on my post so that if anyone is interested, they pay you a visit to see better pictures. Thanks for the heads up!! ~karen

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