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Information regarding Cape Robin and Olive Thrush nests

The Red-chested cuckoo (also known as the Piet-my vrou) parasitises a number of host species; two of which are the Cape Robin and Southem Olive Thrush. Cuckoo eggs laid in the nests of these birds do not match, those of the host, and, as part of my masters degree, I am trying to assess whether the Cape Robin or Southem Olive Thrush are capable of discriminating against these foreign eggs.

In order to do this, I have to find as many host nests as possible. Once these have been located, I substitute one egg for a model egg (either perfectly matching the host eggs, or unlike those of the host, ie: a cuckoo egg) and note the reaction of the birds. The main study site is in Stellenbosch, although this can be extended to the Cape Town/False Bay area. It would be of great help to my project if any interested parties would be willing to help either in searching for nests, or knows of areas where birds are breeding. In this way, a large sample size can be amassed, and hopefully good results obtained!

Anybody interested can either mail me at:,

or telephone 021 8877409
any time.

Thank you very much,
Saskia Kuiper