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The Cuckoo is a dove sized bird resembling kestrels and sparrowhawks due to their barred white underparts and sleek bodies with pointed wings.
They visit in the summer and are parasitic.
The females lay their eggs in other birds nests
for them to raise their chicks!
Usually it is a meadow pipit or a warbler.
Above is a photo of a meadow pipit next to a cuckoo.
(The tiny bird on the left!)
Could well be the surrogate mother.
The female will lay between 12 and 22 eggs per season
and all in different nests
She will lay her eggs in the afternoon and most often in a nest of the same species that raised her.
Young cuckoos will not tolerate other eggs in the nest and will eject them.
As soon as the breeding season is over they leave for Africa
They are on a decline and are a red list species.
They eat insects and mainly caterpillars.
They are 32 to 34cm in length.
They have a wingspan of around 55 to 65cm.
They weigh in at 105 to 150cm.
There are 15,000 breeding pairs in the uk.
The name Cuckoo is onomatopoeic which means it is taken from the birds call “cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo”
Only the common cuckoo does this.