In this article, you will learn about a very strange bird, which, with its surprisingly unusual behavior is different from other birds. This cuckoo is known that her eggs she lays or throws in the nests of other bird species.
It turns Out that Chicks feed her completely alien, "adoptive" parents. This behavior is called brood parasitism. And each of these bird throws its eggs in the nests of those species of birds that she herself had once nurtured.
About the features, which nest the cuckoo lays her eggs and her Chicks than they eat, you can find out by reading this article. But before we give General information about them.
Many people know that all the worries about their offspring cuckoo-females shift to other shoulders, if I may say so, limited to the seeking out of other people's nests and toss them as their eggs.
The cuckoo Chick is called? The cuckoo's egg. Here it will be explained in this article.
Different species of cuckoos vary in size. Most of the birds belonging to the family kucukovic, the weight is barely 100 grams, and body length is no more than forty centimeters.
But for all members of this family are characterized by the presence of a fairly long tail, strong legs and slender torso. And the plumage, generally, is not very bright color. Sexual dimorphism in colouring is either poorly developed or non-existent.
No cuckoos found only in the Arctic and Antarctic. But in General, the distribution of their wide across the globe, especially fond of the warm of the country. Some species living in temperate latitudes, most of them – migratory, and the rest – sedentary.
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Before we learn what a cuckoo chick and describe its parents.
The Size of the cuckoos a little less of a dove. Males and most females have an ash-grey head and upper body. The bottom has a striated color ("hawkish” type). There are females that have a rusty-red color of the upper side of the body. The tail is quite long - up to 15-19 inches, and the wings grow up to 20-30 centimeters. In this regard, and it seems the cuckoo is a large bird, especially in flight. In fact, it is small, and its weight is only 120 grams (maximum).
For More information on what is a cuckoo chick (see photo below), you can see later in the article.
It is believed that the cuckoo – birds of medium size: the small species, only slightly larger than a Sparrow, and the biggest – such as crows. They have hard tail, well attached to the body. But weak-developed fluff.
The long feathers of the tibia at these birds form a kind of "pants". The wings of most members of the family long and sharp (only 10 primary flight feathers, the longest of which – third).
Long tail Speed is usually 10 tail feathers. Four-toed, the feet of the cuckoo is short.
The Young cuckoo (juv) from their older relatives has a more brown color of the upper body, usually with a rusty-red transverse bands. The tail of the cuckoo and the tip is white, and the red females have a dark stripe on the edge.
The Sounds the male emits in the form of “cuckoo”, sometimes turning into muffled laughter. For females of the same characteristic ringing sound "Kli-Kli”. Usually cuckoo cuckoo no more than ten times in a row.
The Number of the squad cuckoos are approximately 150 species, combined into 39 genera. They are divided into 2 suborders: the true cuckoos, containing one family of cuckoos and ground containing one family turaco (or bananoid).
Most members of the family – shrub and tree. Their life takes place in the crown of shrubs and trees. Among them are the types that lead terrestrial life. Their nests they build on the ground.
A cuckoo-monogamous. During the breeding season they form pairs, they themselves build the nests, incubate eggs and feed their Chicks.
About 50 – polygamous, which is clearly expressed by nest parasitism.
People Often wonder: "Why the cuckoo throws its Chicks?" It turns out that this is true only for cuckoo-poligonov.
Nest the cuckoo in the lands from Britain to Japan and Kamchatka, occupying almost the whole Russian territory from West to East. In the North, in European Russia, the area of distribution of this bird comes up to the Arctic Circle and even a little further. As for the southern part, in the region of the cuckoo "crossed" the border of the state, reaching Asia Minor and North Africa.
The bird Lives in the tundra, and semi-deserts, chosen by bushes, forests and mountain stlanik. Eats a variety of insects (AIDS in the destruction of many hairy caterpillars, which other birds do not eat). About what feeds the cuckoo chick, you can see below.
The Main and interesting feature of the cuckoo is placing the eggs in the nests of birds of other species. While care of the incubation and subsequent feeding of the offspringpassed on to “foster parents". How does it happen? More on that later.
Her eggs, the cuckoos lay in the wrong nest. And for this the female occupies a certain territory, where and looks for suitable bird houses. There are cuckoos, which are mainly nests of white Wagtails, some – the nests of reed warblers, and others – skates, etc. According to scientists, the cuckoos are divided into a kind of “biological tribes", adapted to parasitize certain species of small birds.
Almost all such members of the family live in the Eastern hemisphere, and Western living are monogamous. First, as you remember, do not form a pair: in one area there are only one female and several males, at least the ratio of their reverse happens.
Parasitic species the eggs are very small size, they are slightly larger than eggs of many small birds, which nest their mother and throws. And with the coloration they are also very similar to the eggs of birds-the owners or quite a bit different.
In the European part of Russia these birds drop eggs in the nests of several tens of types: the tiny goldcrests, wrens, warblers, Swifts, etc. Throw up the "adoptees" and sparrows.
Different species of cuckoos and the number of toss eggs. For example, crested leaves a few eggs in one of her chosen nest, and the ordinary – only one. And they do it in different ways. Some of them lay their eggs right in the nest of the host, and the other – on the ground, and then the beak moved. In one season that is the parasitic species lay 10-25 eggs.
The Eggs of the cuckoo vary in all species, because females belong to different hereditary lines. Each of them is associated with a particular species of bird-owners, so females lay eggs of the corresponding color. There is another interesting point. A little grown-up cuckoo out of the nest and pushes the other Chicks whose parents continue to feed the foundling.
Depending on the region, habitat and birds-the hosts of cuckoos may be different. In the European part of it in the first place Redstarts, Wagtails, warblers and Shrikes-Shrikes. During their breeding season-from may to July.
Just born coqueta often looks similar to the Chicks of the hosts of the nest. And voices of birds and parasitic cuckoos usually like the voices of young owners. Chicks absolutely all cuckoos are born blind and naked.
The Germ, lit diligent hen, is developing quite quickly. The cuckoo chick emerges from the egg after 12 days earlier than Chicks of most small birds. In growth it is rapidly overtaking the native children of foster parents.
In a Strange way almost immediately after hatching (10-12 hours) the cuckoo's egg there is a special need to throw out nests of different objects that are touching his back (bare skin has a lot of very sensitive nerve endings). If suddenly on the back of a foundling gets warm egg already stirring bird, cuckoo, placing it in the sacral deepen and take hold of her wings, crawls to the edge of the nest to throw it on the ground. It can also do with young birds.
In total, the first 3-4 days of life, when the bird appears similar reflex, the cuckoo chick (foster child) throws the nest of about 10 eggs, or almost all Chicks of the hosts. Usually young my parents fed only in the nests, so the babies thrown out to die.
The Whole brood of birds-the mistress usually stays in one piece, if the cuckoo will throw the egg to the nest with the already familiar walls, because it starts to lag behind them in growth. Then you have a very difficult for parents to feed so many mouths.
Cuckoo in the nest and absolutely silent. A little later he starts demanding a feed, a loud squeak. And after departure from the nest it's beeping, tormenting her adoptive parents.
Very strange looks when near a large with a reddish plumage, flying cuckoo constantly strive two little birds, such as flycatchers or warblers. in the photo below you can see a picture of the cuckoo chick, which is fed to the struggling birds of another species.
The Cuckoo opens his mouth so widely that it gives the impression that he can swallow the bird along with tracks. There is often such a picture: a bird sits on the shoulders of the cuckoo and the top into his mouth to feed and then again in a hurry for prey.
These birds Eat food only animals. Typically, the production harvested from bushes, trees and a little less from the ground. Sometimes, they catch insects on the fly and in the air, which is well adapted to their wide mouth.
The main food of the greater part of the species of cuckoos are a variety of insects and their larvae. They rarely eat other invertebrates (for example spiders).
There are species of cuckoos (mainly tropical), feeding on bird eggs and nestlings, amphibians, small mammals and reptiles.
And they eat the Chicks of cuckoos? The younger coqueta differ surprising voracity. Known one case where a very young bird of this species, reared in a cage, ate forday 39 big green grasshoppers, 18 lizards, 3 butterflies pupae, 5 larvae of the may beetle, cabbage caterpillars, 43, 4 spiders, 50 worms of flour and a large number of “eggs” ants.
• the Chick is very demanding feeding so persistently sought his. It often happens that it is fed not only "foster" parents, but also other birds.
• the Cuckoo has different similar names in other countries: Bulgarians call it "kukavica", in Romania, to spread the word "cook", the Germans called it "kukucka", Czechs – "kukacka", the French refer to as just "cookie", and Italians – "cocolo".
• Color cuckoo's basically the same as in the Sparrowhawk. Perhaps it is no accident, because the cuckoo can be easily rid of the nest owners.
• Educators of young cuckoos are most often Redstart and Warbler.
Despite this feature of this bird, it is considered useful. The only one not very pleasant moment is that, tossing in the wrong nest their eggs and causing therefore the death of the Chicks of the hosts, the cuckoo causes some damage, destroying beneficial insect-eating birds.
There are places where there is quite a lot of cuckoos in this connection is such that Warbler over the summer, do not take any of his chicken. It's all tricks mom cuckoos and the birds. In turn, this voracious bird over the summer, destroys a great many harmful tracks (e.g., hairy), which normally do not touch small birds. Such a useful work, without a doubt, cuckoo covers the harm caused by its parasitism in the nests of other small birds.
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