CUCLILLO BIRD: Incubation and Environment - With PHOTOS

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The cuckoo bird is one of the most studied birds by ethology, a science that collects and analyzes information about the animal compartment. The nest parasitism system for which the cuckoo bird is known worldwide has allowed studies on adaptations and counter-adaptations, both of the cuckoo itself, and of the birds that act as hosts. This surprising custom of the cuckoo bird is inherited in the new individuals of the species, maintaining the habit of laying eggs in other people's nests for successful chick feeding and growing.

If you want to know more details about the habits of this intelligent bird, continue reading this Green Ecologist article about it. cuckoo bird, its incubation and environment.

Cuckoo bird - general characteristics

The cuckoo bird, or cuckoo, is the common name by which the bird is known Cuculus canorus, belonging to the CucĂșlida family. Between the main characteristics of the cuckoo or cuckoo, a really curious bird, the following stand out:

  • Size and plumage: adult individuals are approximately 25 cm. As in other species of birds, the plumage marks the sexual dimorphism that exists between male and female cuckoos, the plumage of the males being coppery and greyish brown in the upper part, while the lower part is light gray, and in females, mainly gray. Meet 25 feathered animals in this other post.
  • Feeding: The cuckoo bird's diet is mainly insectivorous, although sometimes they also hunt small amphibians and sometimes even consume the eggs of other smaller birds, the latter being the feeding strategy of adult male individuals.
  • Singing: cuckoos have great communication skills, their characteristic "couscous" being one of the best-known songs in ornithology. Discover here 13 birds that sing, including these curious birds called cuckoos.
  • Migration: Although the cuckoo bird spends most of its life cycle in cold and temperate forests in Europe and Asia, when very unfavorable environmental conditions arrive, they undertake long migration routes to the warm African continent. Learn more about Migratory Birds: characteristics, names and photos here.
  • Parasites the nests of other birds: Related to its amazing intelligence, the most prominent characteristic of the cuckoo bird is the habit of females of the species of laying their eggs in nests of other species of birds, that is, their nest parasitism habit making use of aggressive mimicry.

Incubation of the cuckoo bird

To better know the curious nest parasitism habit that characterizes the cuckoo bird, it is important to note that this habit corresponds to an intrinsic behavior of the species, which they have developed due to various causes related to the incubation time of the cuckoo bird.

It stands out, for example, that the egg-laying time of the female usually varies between two or three days. In addition, the fact that the females take about 5 days to form embryos in their ovaries is added, so that there would be lapses of time without incubation and chick rearing at different times in the cuckoo nest. These prolonged periods have negative effects on the migration of cuckoos, as they would depend on completing the incubation of the eggs and caring for their young before embarking on their long migratory journeys.

How long does it take for the cuckoo bird to hatch?

The optimal time of incubation of cuckoo eggs is always less than that of the birds chosen as hosts, so that the cuckoo chick hatches before the rest of the eggs present in the host nest. In this way, after hatching, the cuckoo chick is guaranteed to be fed and fully protected by its adoptive mother, thus facilitating its rapid growth. Later, approximately 10 days after birth, the cuckoo chick will choose to move and remove the new chicks from the nest that they come out of their shells, so that they will continue to be the only one to have the food and care of the adoptive mother, who is not able to recognize the cuckoo chick as a stranger or invader, and he takes care of it as if it were his chick, that is to say, of their own laying of eggs.

From this amazing habit, adult cuckoos have obtained double advantages: on the one hand, being able to migrate quickly without depending on the care of their eggs and young and, on the other hand, allowing a quick and energetic development of the young thanks to parental care. forced adoptive.

Cuckoo bird environment - habitat

To know where does the cuckoo bird live, we must cover the entire migration area of the bird, thus determining its presence in Europe, Asia and Africa. They mainly choose temperate and tropical regionsTheir preferred habitats are wooded environments or dense thickets, in which they can easily find the nests of the birds that they will parasite with when they lay their eggs.

For this reason, they are also often elusive and difficult to observe birds, since the density of the forests and bushes makes it very difficult to see cuckoo specimens in their natural habitat. However, its characteristic songs and calls can be easily appreciated.

At present, the cuckoo or cuckoo bird, has great stability and diversification in terms of its presence in the different habitats in which it grows and reproduces, the main reason for said stability being its nest parasitism strategy.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cuckoo bird: incubation and environment, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.

  • MartĂ­nez, J. G. et al., (2009) Distribution of the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) and its hosts in Sierra Nevada (Southern Spain). Research Projects in National Parks: 2006-2009.
  • Soler, M. (2000) Are birds capable of recognizing their own chickens? Ardeola Magazine. Volume 47 (2), pp: 279-286.
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