Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Yellow-billed Cuckoo!

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
Yellow-billed Cuckoo being harassed by Northern Cardinals

  The winds giveth! At about 8:15 a.m., I was in the northwest corner of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, along the fence that divides the cemetery and the forest on the Université de Montréal grounds. I heard a distant, weak Cuckoo call that sounded a bit like a dove: too-too-too-too (which Google translated to “trop-trop-trop-aussi” in French, which means “too-much-too-much-too-much-also”). I popped through a hole in the fence, ate facefulls of spiderwebs, and tracked the call through the woods for 15 minutes. 
  I finally saw the bird on the hill behind CEPSUM, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo! It was hard to get a decent look at, until I got an assist from two cross Red Cardinals. They harassed it from the brush and up onto a bare tree branch (listen for them in the video). I got good looks at the uncommon and enigmatic bird for about three minutes, before it flew north towards the football stadium, and it was not seen again. I contemplated following it further, but when I heard the boisterous hollerings of an enraged lunatic coming from the woods I casually turned around and went back the way I had come. He sounded...cuckoo.
  The whole YBCU encounter may have been cloaked in a veil of dark vs. light magic, missing time, possible alien abduction, and a menagerie of malicious forest spirits. Perhaps that aspect of things is best left for short story fodder.
  Yadda yadda yadda there were some other birds in the cemeteries too, yadda yadda yadda.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), May 29, 2018
Turkey Vulture-(1)
Peregrine Falcon-(2 on the tower)
Ring-billed Gull-2 (33 near Decelles)
Black-billed Cuckoo-1 heard on Mount Murray...or was it multiple birds? I could have sworn I also heard one on Oak Ridge over the drone of the mowers...
Yellow-billed Cuckoo-(1 on the Université de Montréal grounds north of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery)
Chimney Swift-2 (2)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-
2 males battling on Oak Ridge
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Pileated Woodpecker-(1)
Eastern Wood-Pewee-(1 or 2 in the northern woods)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher-(1 in the northern woods)
Great Crested Flycatcher-5 (2)
Warbling Vireo-(1)
Red-eyed Vireo-10+ (6+)
American Crow-4, including one seen stealing an egg, (2)
Black-capped Chickadee-3
White-breasted Nuthatch-(1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-1
House Wren-1
Eastern Bluebird-5

Gray-cheeked Thrush-1 skulking on the small scrubby hill behind the cannons in N2
American Robin-2 (1)
Gray Catbird-3
Cedar Waxwing-(2+ heard)
European Starling-1
Tennessee Warbler-1 in L5
Yellow Warbler-(1 still along the northwestern NDN fence-line)
Blackpoll Warbler-2+ possibly heard near the north gate feeder
American Redstart-1 on Oak Ridge
Wilson’s Warbler-1 on Oak Ridge
Indigo Bunting-6 (2)
Northern Cardinal-1 (2 harassing the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, their alarm tsips can be heard in the video)
Chipping Sparrow-12+ (12+)
Song Sparrow-6 (4)
Common Grackle-(1 flew over, calling)
House Sparrow-(2 near Decelles)
American Goldfinch-(3)
House Finch-(2 singing)

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