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Cuculus canorus
(Squad Kukushkoobraznykh, Family Kucukkuyu, Genus Real cuckoo)

Common cuckoo

It is hard to imagine a forest without cuckoos. A loud "ku-ku" male and characteristic gurgling sound of the females each of us has heard (by the way, the famous "cuckoo!" Creek "male", meaning: "I'm here!"; the female cuckoo sounds, resembling laughter). And that the cuckoo does not build nests and lays eggs in others ' nests, also we all know. Like, about the cuckoo's all already been said. But, unfortunately, up to now, people know little about this unusual bird, which is extremely difficult to study. The cuckoo - bird cautious and secretive. Not all saw it live. But in flight it is so similar to the hawk that lay them constantly confused.

Cuckoo - migratory bird, in winter it wanders in tropical Africa. But an interesting thing: most birds doing their flights flocks and flocks here cuckoos nobody saw. In the autumn they quietly disappear, the older generation ago, young later. Flying usually at night and most likely alone.

Do they eat various insects, which eat almost all day in large quantities. Cuckoo benefit, eating hairy caterpillars covered with poison. Other birds such treats ignore. If in any natural forest cuckoo more than usual, this is a sure sign that it is precisely in this area is particularly dangerous invasion of caterpillars. Eyewitnesses saw some of cuckoos absorbed by ten caterpillars per minute! So for forest cuckoo is a very useful bird, because the destruction during the summer of millions of pests it completely redeems his "guilty" of the murder of innocent little babies of other species.

Males differ from females only color. They are mainly grey, back and wings darker tone, legs orange. On the chest and abdomen longitudinal alternating black and white stripes. Females are more brown-red stripes almost the entire body, the cuckoo seems ryabenkii. The length of the bird up to 40 cm, weight 100 - 130 grams. The tail has a rounded shape, rather long - 18 see wing Length - 2 0cm and wingspan 60 see large Eyes, beak slightly curved and is quite sturdy. Fingers at the cuckoo tenacious, two facing forward and two back. Thanks deftly moves through the tree branches.

Common cuckoo

In Russia cuckoo live almost everywhere, except this tundra, thanks to support from more than four dozen main species of birds teachers are different types Wagtails, warblers, Wagtails, warblers, Buntings, Pipits, Soloviev. To date, there are about 150 species of birds, which the cuckoo throws its eggs in the nest. And interestingly, in the nest of the form teacher, the egg of the cuckoo is almost indistinguishable from eggs in host nests. Not allocated by the color of the shell, form, and often also and sizes! For example, in the nests of great reed Warbler or lesser grey Shrike egg of the cuckoo to identify visually, it is often impossible to hatching, Kukushka. Theoretically it shouldn't be, but in practice it is observed everywhere. Attempts to explain this phenomenon remain unsuccessful to this day. The color and pattern on the shell of the egg of the cuckoo quite accurately reproduces the color and the elements of drawing eggs form teacher not only externally, but also in the thickness of the shell! The latter circumstance is not explicable by natural selection, as birds to see and appreciate this simply can not, and during the experiments many birds had taken foreign eggs even with different coloration of the shell.

Jack Nightingale-necked stint with the egg of the cuckoo Jack Bunting-crumbs with egg of the cuckoo
The nest of the great reed Warbler egg of the cuckoo in the background The love nest with eggs of the cuckoo

Due to brood parasitism, the whole cuckoo habitat mosaic is divided into many smaller areas, where the parasite is closely tied to certain types of caregiver. So, in the southern Primorye cuckoo put their eggs in the nests of meadow Buntings, Northern Primorye - in jacks thick-billed Warbler, in the steppes of Transbaikalia in the nests of Prairie ridge, in forest-steppe of Western Siberia in the Blyth's reed Warbler nests in the forest zone of Siberia - in socket Nightingale-necked stint or Pipit, in the forest tundra of Siberia - in Jack Bunting-crumbs in the forest zone of the European part of Russia - in the garden Warbler nests or common Redstart, and in the Caucasus mountains in the nests of black Redstarts and so on.

To lay eggs in another's nest cuckoo is by using a male that their plumage is surprisingly reminiscent of the hawk. The male begins to fly around the selected nests, and bird, seeing this leastbe, in fear leave him. Then the cuckoo, quickly approaching the empty nest, and throwing one host egg, and lays it on his own. The returning bird sees that all the eggs in place and continues to hatching.

Spreading all your eggs in others ' nests, cuckoo calms down. And the male cuckoo during the feeding of the Chicks will carefully guard the area, where the female laid eggs.

In the nests of birds teachers egg of the cuckoo does not occur any colouring of eggshells, no pattern. And interestingly, often even in the same area different female cuckoo specialize in nests only their own species. Such populations of cuckoos, closely tied to a specific species, called ecological races. And the whole population of cuckoos in our extensive range is divided into many separate settlements - ecological races.

In the case of abrupt reduction of the main types of teacher cuckoo seeking experienced by a new kind of educator and through a number of generations of the species of parasite eggs cuckoos do not differ from eggs of new birds-educators.

Another phenomenon is the size of the eggs of the cuckoo is quite understandable. Many researchers think that in the process of nest parasitism the size of the eggs of the cuckoo has declined. But it's not. The size of the eggs of the cuckoo has remained the same and amounts to 3-4% of the weight of females. Just visually cuckoo seems large because of the long flight feathers and tail feathers, but actually the body of the cuckoo is much smaller. The same ratio of weight of eggs in relation to the weight of females, for example, a crow or black grouse, which themselves are breeding. Thus, if the cuckoo, like any other bird, throughout his short life in 5-10 years to change the size of their eggs cannot, and to hatch their wants, and she, therefore, we need to think carefully, to keep their offspring. As well as the egg of the cuckoo in size and physiology of embryonic development similar to the eggs of passerine birds, it was not difficult to find the appropriate kinds of carers among Buntings, warblers and other small birds.

In a marriage relationship for cuckoo characterized by polygyny, that is, when a large section of the male includes some areas of females. The male during the day overfly their possession, and in turn comes to females. And the female during the breeding season adheres to specific terrain 2-4 hectares, on which nesting species-educators.

The formation of the eggs of the cuckoo starts when the look of the building nests teacher. And after a 7-9 day cuckoo egg puts it in advance looked out the nest of future educators of Kukushka. Usually by this time in the nest owners are and their own eggs. She took in his beak one egg from the clutch masters, sits directly on the nest and in a matter of seconds blows his egg. In cases of planned destruction of the nest, the cuckoo forced to lay an egg either on the ground or tucked in a different slot. Possible delay ready for demolition of the eggs of the cuckoo 1-3 days. Following the egg from the cuckoo begins to emerge with the discovery of her regular built nests teacher. Thus, the female cuckoo in the summer season lays one egg in 2-5 nests educators. Makushok usually hatch in the nest first, then hatch into other Chicks. Nestling cuckoos naked, usually somewhat larger than the other Chicks, it weighs about 3,

Another interesting feature and mystery in behavior just emerging from the eggs of Kukushka is that he, being blind, deaf and completely naked, resolve their housing problems, dropping out of the nest of eggs or Chicks owners. For this cuckoo unjustly condemned by people. It's simple: Makushok substitutes several juveniles of another species having a more numerous progeny. The next day after hatching, Kukushka begins the ejection reflex: all that is in the nest, Makushok tries to throw. The most active it when birds-the owners are not in the nest, and his "summary" brothers and sisters sedentary, because in the absence of adult birds freeze when the temperature drops in the nest. On the lower part of the back of Kukushka has a special recess. Bare skin on this place, as well as on the back and sides of his body are very sensitive. When you touch them Kukushka immediately apparent ejection reflex: Makushok wide stance and leaning his head on the bottom of the nest, trying to crawl under the egg or chick. When he succeeds, Makushok several tremors of the body promotes the victim on his back. Clutching at his broad, slightly concave back the egg or chick risen far up the wings, Makushok backing into Board socket. Having reached the inner wall of the socket, he rises to the elongated legs and a sharp push of a body rolls on his back the subject through the edge of the nest. Thus, within 3-4 days Makushok usually gets rid of the "summary" brothers and sisters. On the 5th day of life Kukushka ejection reflex fades, and, if at that time remain in the nest of other birds, they are no longer in danger of being kicked out of the nest. However, remaining in the nest together with Kukushka Chicks birds-owners rarely survive: the rapidly growing Makushok catches all the food, bring older birds, and the rest of the Chicks die of starvation.

House Sparrow
Makushok already significantly developed his adopted mother : reed Warbler

But, despite all these tricks, for every 5 thrown cuckoo eggs from the nest will fly only one (!) Makushok. Because some birds (wrens, warblers) to find another egg, usually abandon nests, even with a full clutch. Other (Redstart) twist a new litter nests, covering the eggs with the egg of the cuckoo, and start the new clutch. Many species of birds just throw another egg from the nest.

The voice of the cuckoo:


Your comments:

2014-05-11 19:43:30
How to call husband cuckoo
2014-05-06 22:28:40
2014-05-03 17:18:20
Thanks that helped!
2014-04-24 17:16:47
2014-04-12 14:14:37
2014-04-09 17:11:19
Thanks for the interesting stuff!!!
2014-02-16 14:59:05
Great site! Thank you developers!
2013-12-01 20:24:21
thanks really helped
2013-01-24 08:22:30
Very interesting!
I wrote the book the WORLD of ANIMALS in verse and prose are now preparing for publication the WORLD of BIRDS. Send a verse from the new book. Gregory
Loud in the little coquet cuckoo:
Where is my you, the bride - girlfriend?
Birds in the forest, build their nests -
Babies hatch immediately decided.

Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo...

We build nests with you don't know how,
Robins display will us dare...
In the nests of others we will do masonry -
And fly away quickly without looking back.

Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo...

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