New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1980) 3: 138- 140

Foods of the shining cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus, Aves: Cuculidae) in New Zealand

Research Article
Brian J. Gill 1,2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Present address: 5 Kotare Place, Levin, New Zealand

Weights, measurements and stomach-contents of a sample of shining cuckoos (Chrysococcyx lucidus) are summarised. Mean weights and measurements did not differ between the sexes. The diet comprised only insects, mainly caterpillars and beetles. A third of the caterpillars were larvae of the magpie moth (Nyctemera annulata) whose spines embed in the lining of the gizzard, and most beetles were ladybirds (Coccinellidae). Thus many prey were insects generally avoided by other birds. Ingested items were mostly less than 16 mm long, and a third were only 1-5 mm long.