A migrant breeder in Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It arrives earliest than any other migratory species, already from February, while there are regular records of it even from early January. From that fact comes the origin of its Cypriot name, Kalochronia (Kalo: good, chronia: year). The adult birds depart back to Africa in July, while the juveniles until November.
It’s seen singly or in pairs, mainly in open areas with sparse trees and big bushes. It’s very connected to the Magpie and to a lesser extend to other corvids (Hooded Crow), and it specializes to parasitize (to lay its eggs in their nests).
Usually, the male bird will distract the couple of Magpies that were chosen to parasitize, and the female will take the advantage and in a quick process will visit the nest and lay its egg, after if destroyed one of the existing. Afterwards, the young cuckoo will be hatched few days earlier than the Magpie’s eggs, and as a result will have the precedence in age and size. That gives it the benefit to be fed first and a higher chance to grow faster and abandon the nest successfully.
It’s similar in size with the feral pigeon, with a much longer tail and longer-slender body. It has a silvery-grey crest, that lays up and backwards, but can be erected in an almost upright posture. It has a grey back with white spots, a darker grey long tail, white belly and throat – chest with a slight yellowish tint. The young birds are darker above (almost black) with reddish-brown primaries (wing edges) and black outline.