Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hepatic Cuckoo

Late news of a hepatic female Cuckoo found at Sandwich bay along with a few 'grey' cuckoo's on monday. This is the first time I have been able to photograph the form and is only the second one I can remember seeing. The brown Cuckoo's I see tend to be juveniles, but at this time of the year I can be sure of this being a hepatic female!
A nice bird, I actually thought it was a kestrel when I first saw it flying away it was so rufous.


  1. Nice pictures! Pardon my ignorance, but what does hepatic mean in this context?

  2. Hi James, To be honest I'm not sure why its known as hepatic phase, all I know is that the rare brown females are known as hepatic morph. I don't think it has anything to do with the 'human' meaning- to do with taking blood away from the liver, but who knows could explain why they are brown.

  3. Hi Ben

    hope you're enjoying it down there

    it's called a hepatic morph because the reddish-brown colour resembles that of the liver.


  4. Ahh, that'll be it then. Its no Norfolk but I'm enjoying it all the same here.

    Thanks Tim.