Banded Bay Cuckoo fledgling
seen here is the fledgling waiting for its foster parent's return for more food. Someday, this little guy together with its mate will target an unsuspecting Iora couple's nest and starts another fascinating cycle of its hallmark parasitic behaviour once again.
This is a perfect mismatch with one species bringing up another totally non-related species.
This parasitic cuckoo fledgling is tended by its host parent a common Iora.
The pathetic host parent is completely oblivious of what is going on and is totally committed to its parental duties regardless of its baby's outlook. The very baby the Iora couple has help to raise has a dark secret that nature is hiding from them. This big fat baby is also the murderer of its own offspring. Sometime in the early stages of the nesting cycle, the cuckoo chick is genetically programed to destroy all the original Iora eggs/chicks by pushing them out of the nest without the real parent's knowledge. Being the planned sole survivor, he will receive all the food and care that he needs to grow up fast and strong. Interestingly, the host parent will never know the terrible truth and continue to tend to the alien chick in spite of the huge difference in appearance. Little do they know that they have brought up a monster.
That seem cruel but nature invariably has a purpose to it which we have yet to find out.
Meanwhile all we can do is to let this behaviour continue to fascinate us until nature is ready to give up its secrets.
@jurong eco garden, sg