Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

Order

CUCULIFORMES

Family

Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis (Cuculidae)

Code 4

COCU

Code 6

CUCCAN

ITIS

Egg Color:

White or can match egg color of host



Number of Eggs:

1



Incubation Days:

11 - 13



Egg Incubator:



Nest Location:

In trees or shrub.



Nest Material:

Grasses, leaves.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Common Cuckoo: Large cuckoo with gray upperparts and paler underparts with dark bars on belly. Wings are dark gray; tail is dark gray with faint spotting on outer edges near base. Female is similar but with buff breast or may be red-brown with dark bars overall. Juvenile is dark gray washed with brown.

Range and Habitat

Common Cuckoo: Found from Spain to Japan. Western populations migrate south to sub-Saharan Africa during the winter, eastern populations to the Philippine Islands and Southeast Asia. Accidental in Massachusetts. Habitats are almost anywhere, ranging from heaths and forests, to farmlands, open moorlands and marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Common Cuckoo: Nest parasite: eight to twenty-five eggs are laid each season in nests of other species. Incubation ranges from 11 to 13 days and is carried out by host species. Eggs are white or match the color of the host species.

Foraging and Feeding

Common Cuckoo: Eats hairy caterpillars and other insects; forages in open trees and shrubs.

Vocalization

Common Cuckoo: Male sings "coo-koo"; female produces a low, gurgling trill "klu-klu-klu." Silent on winter grounds, but may sing during spring migration.

Similar Species

Common Cuckoo: Oriental Cuckoo has darker upperparts, paler underparts, and buff undertail coverts.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X