Re: Channel-billed Cuckoos

Subject: Re: Channel-billed Cuckoos
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 16:23:21 +1000 (EST)
Certain cuckoo species will remove an egg from the host's nest (usually 
making a meal of it) and lay one of their own in its place. They usually 
do this when the nest is unattended, but I'm not sure if they chase off 
the parent to ensure the nest is left alone for a minute or two.

I have read somewhere that some cuckoos are able to lay an egg which 
resembles that of the host.  I don't know whether they are able to lay 
eggs on demand in a range of designer colours, but it seems a likely 
adaptation to ensure that their egg is accepted by its unwitting foster 
parents.  I wonder, though, what goes through the mind of a parent bird 
when it has a good look at its nestlings and tries to explain to the 
neighbours the presence of a really big, ugly offspring...

Russell Woodford

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