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Latest Cuckoo Stories

Birds Evolved Distinctive Patterns To Identify Cuckoo Eggs From Their Own
2014-06-19 03:13:09

University of Cambridge For some birds, recognizing their own eggs can be a matter of life or death. In a new study, scientists have shown that many birds affected by the parasitic Common Cuckoo - which lays its lethal offspring in other birds' nests - have evolved distinctive patterns on their eggs in order to distinguish them from those laid by a cuckoo cheat. The study reveals that these signature patterns provide a powerful defense against cuckoo trickery, helping host birds to...

Birds Accept And Raise Brood Parasites’ Young For Fear Of Retaliation
2014-04-18 14:50:57

Max Planck Institute If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to make restaurant owners pay up. Similarly, mafia-like behavior is observed in parasitic birds, which lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. If the host birds throw the cuckoo’s egg out, the brood parasites take their revenge by destroying the entire nest....

Research Shows Cuckoos Impersonate Hawks By Matching Their 'Outfits'
2013-10-16 11:54:30

University of Cambridge New research shows that cuckoos have striped or "barred" feathers that resemble local birds of prey, such as sparrowhawks, that may be used to frighten birds into briefly fleeing their nest in order to lay their parasitic eggs. By using the latest digital image analysis techniques, and accounting for "bird vision" - by converting images to the spectral sensitivity of birds - researchers have been able to show for the first time that the barred patterns on a...

Cheats Of The Bird World
2013-09-25 08:49:56

University of Exeter Cuckoo finches that lay more than one egg in their victims' nests have a better chance of bamboozling host parents into fostering their parasitic young, a study has found. Dr Martin Stevens from the University of Exeter and Dr Claire Spottiswoode from the University of Cambridge, with Dr Jolyon Troscianko at the University of Exeter, demonstrated that when African cuckoo finch females lay more than one egg in the same nest of their African tawny-flanked prinia...

Honeyguide Birds Destroy Their Own Species' Eggs To Eliminate Competition
2013-08-21 09:19:04

University of Cambridge Scientists believe behavior drives evolution of egg size similar to hosts Like cuckoos, honeyguides are parasitic birds that lay their eggs in other birds' nests and dupe them into raising their young. Now scientists reveal that, unlike in cuckoos, the resemblance between honeyguide eggs and those of their bee-eater bird hosts hasn't evolved to trick hosts into accepting the imposter egg as one of their own. Rather, it appears to have evolved to trick other...

Bees That Go 'Cuckoo' In Nests Of Other Bees
2012-08-31 12:08:39

5 new species of cuckoo bees from the Cape Verde Islands The biota of island archipelagos is of considerable interest to biologists. These isolated areas often act as 'evolutionary laboratories', spawning biological diversity rapidly and permitting many mechanisms to be observed and studied over relatively short periods of time. Such islands are often the places of new discoveries, including the documentation of new species. The Republic of Cape Verde comprises 10 inhabited islands...

2012-08-03 01:06:24

New research explains why female cuckoos have evolved different guises To minimize the chance of being recognized and thus attacked by the birds they are trying to parasitize, female cuckoos have evolved different guises. The new research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, was published today, 03 August, in the journal Science. The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. On hatching, the young cuckoo ejects the host's eggs and chicks...

Trackers Reveal Secrets of Cuckoo Migratory Patterns
2012-05-07 03:40:11

The first pair of five male cuckoos that were fitted with tracking devices by UK scientists last spring returned to England over the weekend, bringing with them new data about their annual migratory patterns. According to Roya Nikkhah of the Telegraph, the five birds were captured by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) scientists in Norfolk last May, fitted with satellite-tagged units, and then released back into the wild. Their journey was then monitored as they travelled to Africa last...

2012-04-16 22:00:41

The eggs laid by two African bird species have evolved different color patterns over a period of just 40 years, according to new research published in The American Naturalist. The quick change appears to be driven by an unwanted guest in the nest. Cuckoo finches are brood parasites. They lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species, hoping to trick someone else into raising their young. To help keep their imposter eggs from being evicted, the cuckoo eggs have evolved to look a lot...

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2011-04-14 09:50:35

New research reveals how biological arms races between cuckoos and host birds can escalate into a competition between the host evolving new, unique egg patterns (or 'signatures') and the parasite new forgeries. Brood parasitic birds such as cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts in an effort to trick them into accepting the alien egg and raising the cuckoo chick as one of their own. New research from the University of Cambridge has found that different bird species parasitized by...


Latest Cuckoo Reference Libraries

0_f8d3ba628ed69bdbd37cfbbe324665bd
2009-01-17 20:24:10

The Common Hawk-cuckoo (Cuculus varius) also commonly called the Brainfever bird, is a species of cuckoo that occurs in Punjab, Pakistan east across much of the Indian peninsula, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is found at altitudes of 2600 feet in the Himalayas. Most birds are resident but ones that occur at higher altitudes or in arid regions are locally migratory. Its habitat is dry deciduous forests, where it is mostly solitary. It is called Hawk-cuckoo as it resembles a sparrow hawk....

0_3db5e3e19289c39d788e1f8e5aa0e839
2009-01-17 20:19:53

The Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) is a species of Cuckoo that is widespread through southeast and southwest Europe and western Asia. It is migratory and winters in Africa. It prefers areas of warm open country with trees. The adult has a slender body. It has a gray upper body, long tail and strong legs. Its cap and wings are gray, face and upper breast is yellow, and underparts are white. Sexes are similar. Young have blackish upperparts and cap, and chestnut primary wing...

0_e6042fb08a79d3b711ac8489b3d287b7
2009-01-17 19:53:55

The Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) also known as the Pied Crested Cuckoo or Jacobin Cuckoo, is a species of bird in the cuckoo family which includes roadrunners, anis, and the Hoatzin. It is found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert east to India, Sri Lanka and Burma. It is migratory, but only over short distances. The more northerly birds and those at higher altitudes leave for warmer and wetter areas in the winter. Its habitat is scrub, wetlands and cultivation. This is a large...

0_0d69e2cbf29716230143af573b7a85ea
2009-01-17 16:57:02

The Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) is a social species of bird belonging to the cuckoo family. It is found in open and semi-open habitats of eastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northeastern Argentina. The adult Guira Cuckoo is approximately 13 inches in length. It has whitish-beige underparts and rump, dark brownish upperparts, a generally white-tipped dark tail that is somewhat long. It has an orange-beige crest, and heavy orange-yellow bill. It is has a shaggy look....

0_7e20da00898af014032c5b16f067829a
2009-01-17 16:26:28

The Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) is a species of bird ranging from northwestern Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay, and on Trinidad. The habitat is woodland canopy and edges, second growth, hedges and semi-open areas from sea level to as high as 8200 feet in altitude, though it is not common above 4000 feet. Its name is derived from its habit of running and jumping along branches much like a squirrel. It mostly flies short distances, and glides with occasional flaps. This is a...

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Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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