Caroona Creek Conservation Park
I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice to say it's a stunning place, especially since they'd had good rain in the prior two months to our visit. Bird life was quite abundant, although somewhat patchy as it has a habit of being out in the mallee. After a couple of days of hearing what I believed to be a Black-eared Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx osculans), I finally came across one. Much to my delight, this bird also lead me to a second Black-eared Cuckoo and I felt very privileged to be able to witness and photograph (albeit poorly) what could only be courtship between the two birds.
Given that there is no sexual dimorphism in this species, for the sake of simplicity of this account, I'm going to call the first bird male, and the second bird a female. I have no idea how accurate this assumption on my part is.
The male bird was looking for things to eat, in this case, it turned out to be hairy black caterpillars that he pulled (or attempted to) from the leaves of the mallee trees.
Looking for caterpillars
Attempting to remove a caterpillar
A bit of extra effort required...
After having caught the caterpillar, I had thought that he would have eaten it. This is when he began courting the female bird (which I hadn't yet noticed). He held the caterpillar in his beak, bobbed his head and tail, and made repeated soft calls, which can only be described as a shorter, softer version of the normal advertisement call.
After a bit of effort on the male's part, the female finally approached and he held the caterpillar out to her.
Handing over the meal
There seemed to be a bit of reluctance in giving up his hard won caterpillar
As a side note, from what I could determine from online resources, the caterpillar appears to be a species of day-flying moth, possibly the Mistletoe Moth (Comocrus behri). Source: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/agar/behri.html