Brood Parasite Hosts
The Arrow-marked Babbler sometimes finds itself foster-parent to a young Levaillant’s Cuckoo, sometimes called a Striped-breasted Cuckoo which it rears together with its own chicks. The Levaillant’s Cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii), a resident breeding species in Africa south of the Sahara is a brood parasite, using the nests of bulbuls and babblers including the Arrow-marked Babbler.
We have currently a brood of Cuckoos being fed and reared by the much smaller Arrow-marked Babblers in our garden. I feel quite sorry for the Arrow-marks. The Cuckoos are extremely demanding and they want their food. No excuses. its lovely though to see them and its very entertaining. But the NOISE!