Monday, December 20th, 2010
Flying High Bird Sanctuary at Apple Tree Creek , Queensland, welcomed a new feathered friend to its flock this week with the arrival of a Channel Billed Cuckoo. The Channel Billed Cuckoo was abandoned as a chick and was recently housed at Rockhampton Zoo. The Cuckoo has now found a permanent home at Flying High after it was discovered the bird is not suited to be re-released back into the wild.

The Channel Billed Cuckoo is the world’s largest Cuckoo standing at a height of up to 65cm. In its natural environment, the Channel Billed Cuckoo lays its eggs in other birds nest. The host parents then raise the cuckoo chick as their own, often to the determent of their own chicks due to the large appetite of their fostered offspring. The Channel Billed Cuckoo is an Australian Native, ranging from coastal northern and eastern Australia. The Channel Billed Cuckoo feeds on figs, fruits and berries and Matt Tocknell from Flying High Bird Sanctuary says red grapes and bananas are a firm favourite of this bird.

The Channel Billed Cuckoo will be on display these school holidays. Flying High Bird Sanctuary is open 7 days (except Christmas Day) from 8am with the last entry at 4pm. Flying High Bird Sanctuary is located on the corner of Old Creek Road and the Bruce Highway, Apple Tree Creek, Queensland. For more details go to

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Flying High Bird Sanctuary

Flying High Bird Sanctuary was built by John Woodall in 2001 and was opened to the public in 2002. Husband and Wife Team, Matt and Leisa Tocknell, as well as Matt's parents , David and Anne, bought the Sanctuary at the end of March 2010.  Flying High Bird Sanctuary is the largest free flight aviary in Australia. Visitors can come and walk in the free-flight aviary with the birds flying overhead , instead of viewing them from behind a wire cage.  Covering an area of nearly two acres and reaching a height of seven metres,  the many varieties of Australian and exotic  parrots and finches fly free in a natural habitat created especially for them. Within the aviary, there are now over  87 species of birds making a total of 3000 birds which can be observed at the different feeding stations along the 400 metres of walking track. The majority of the birds are flying free, however some species which are incompatible with the birds in the free flight aviary are housed in separate aviaries. Flying High Bird Sanctuary is located on the Bruce Highway at Apple Tree Creek, Queensland  5kms north of Childers.
Leisa Tocknell
P: (07) 4126 3777
M: 0404 873 545

Matt Tocknell

P: (07) 4126 3777
M: 0438111669


Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Zoo, New exhibit, Channel Billed Cuckoo



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