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Dieren en planten

Birds   Cuckoo   Bird Protection   Warblers   
  • Dut: Koekoek
  • Eng: Cuckoo
  • Fre: Coucou gris
  • Ger: Kuckuck
  • Dan: Gøg
  • Nor: Gjøk
  • Fries: Koekoek
  • Ital: Cuculo
  • Lat: Cuculus canorus
Cuckoo, W.J. Phaff

Cuckoo

Many people know that the cuckoo doesn't breed its own eggs. The female lays her eggs in the nest of other species, often times the meadow pipit, dunnock, sedge warbler, wagtail or the common redstart. These small birds brood the eggs and take care of the young cuckoos, which don't take long to grow bigger than their foster parents. Should they have any foster sisters or brothers, the cuckoo makes sure that they disappear. Adult cuckoos migrate to their winter homes starting in June. The young leave in August to tropical Africa. They have to figure out the route by themselves since they have never even seen their true parents. Cuckoos eat caterpillars. Even the hairy caterpillars which other birds avoid are eaten by the cuckoo. They merely spit out the hairs as a pellet. Furthermore, the bird gladly eats other insects such as beetles.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Cuckoo, Ecomare

    Cuckoos are found throughout all of Europe. In the Netherlands, this bird lives mostly in open regions with occasional bushes or trees. The call of the cuckoo can also be heard in open woods. The Wadden Islands are their favourite places.