Exhausted visitor

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Seriously tired after a long flight

Although this beautiful bird seems to look okay, it is actually in pretty poor condition. It is a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), a visitor to Curacao and passage migrant that came all the way from North America. In general these birds need serious food replenishment on arrival, before they regain the strength to continue their journey to South America. A hefty meal of caterpillars, beetles and cockroaches will do the trick. On the other hand, some records show that numerous birds do perish during the trip or shortly after arrival. Several amazing encounters with this species at elevations of up to 4200 meters have been recorded for the Venezuelan Andes, even more amazing considering the relatively small, stocky wings they rely on.
We will never know if the one in the picture, which was taken on the 13th of October 2011 at the Savonet Museum by Ms. Helena de Bekker, did survive its ordeal. We can only wish it well!

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