Cuckoo | Facts & Information

# Cuckoo | Facts & Information

Cuckoo | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Cuckoo

As the weather warms, we hear again the well-known song, echoing from the branches of a tree: cu-cu! cu-cu! The bird that "speaks" to us like this is the well-known cuckoo; who has not heard of him ?

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Cuckoo Origin

It belongs to the family of cuculids, order cuculiformes, and the Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) found in our country (and generally on the European continent) is scientifically called cuculus canorus.

The Cuckoo is a bird widespread in Europe, where it makes its appearance in the spring (through April, sometimes earlier), coming from Africa, where it spends the winter months. It remains on our continent until august or even September, when it again takes flight south to warm countries.

The Cuckoo is therefore a migratory (traveling) bird. And on the way back and forth, the male arrives first, flying faster, then the female arrives. If the gray Cuckoo lives in Europe, there are other breeds of cuckoos, spread throughout the world.

For example, the American cuckoo has a shorter beak than its European relative. Also in North America, in the desert areas of California, lives the terrestrial cuckoo, which hardly flies at all.

The Guira cuckoo is a breed with a feather mot on its head and lives in South America. The yellow-billed cuckoo is white-breasted and lives in North America, and in winter migrates to South America. In Australia and New Guinea live Cuckoo-pheasant, colored in tan and greenish.

Cuckoo Feed

Cuckoo food therefore consists of insects, spiders, all kinds of worms, centipedes and especially large caterpillars (so-called hairy caterpillars, which are not liked by other birds).

For this reason, The Cuckoo is a useful bird that deserves protection, because it has a sanitary role, cleaning the trees from these caterpillars.

It is not specialized for a certain type of food, eating those insects that are more numerous and therefore easier to catch.


The female usually shows the same color, but with a rusty hue and with streaks erased on the goiter (Gray phase). There are a small number of females that have an intense rust-brown coloration above (rust phase).

Above are a rather dark brown, some more gray, others more rusty, but can not be grouped into two distinct categories (as in the case of females); they do not get so red-rusty and always have a head/neck more gray. A distinctive sign for them is the white spot on the back of the neck.

Its dimensions, its low, discreet and smooth flight, along with its long tail often give the impression of being a bird hawk (females in the rust phase: red vanturel). But the rapid wingbeats are rather weak, it keeps its wings sharp, usually below the horizontal line, without hovering at certain intervals, and the small head with a fragile beak is kept visibly up. He is often chased by the catwalks, with a lot of noise.

Cuckoo Breeding

The biggest oddity of this bird lies in the way it raises its young. Or, more correctly, in the way he does not raise them... he is, from this point of view, a parasite, a profiteer, because he places his eggs in the nests of other flies.

The Cuckoo doesn't build a nest. When it comes time to lay eggs (around 10-13), the female looks for the nests of other (usually small) flies. The birds are gone, the Cuckoo-female comes to the foreign nest and leaves here one egg, which strangely resembles those of the host. So that she does not realize the trick, the Cuckoo steals one of the eggs from the Nest, which she then breaks and eats.

When it comes to harder-to-reach nests, where it can only enter through a small hole, the female cuckoo lays the egg on the ground, then takes it in its beak and carefully inserts it into the foreign nest. Upon returning, the owners of the nest do not realize what happened and Hatch The Cuckoo egg together with the others, as if it belonged to them (cuckoo eggs have been found in the nests of about 100 different species of birds!).

Usually, the cuckoo chick emerges from the egg before the other chicks and develops faster. Not long after, although he is still blind and naked, he begins to throw out of the nest, one by one, the eggs or chicks of the host bird. In the end, the little cuckoo remains alone, enjoying all the attention of the adoptive parents and receiving from them all the food. They mostly consume insects.

If it falls into the nest of a bird that feeds it only with seeds, such as the lark, the cuckoo chick will not survive this vegetarian regime.

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