ABOUT Cuculus canorus

A passing migrant through Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula, mainly in spring (April) and less so in autumn (September). It’s likely that it breeds occasionally in Cyprus. During migration periods it can be seen in a large variety of habitats, from the coastal to the higher elevations of the island, usually in single individuals.

It’s a parasitic species, which means it lays its eggs in other species nests, with the new parents taking the responsibility of the incubation and the upbringing of its chicks. The female, taking advantage of a moment that the adoptive parents are away, in a quick process it visits the nest, eats one of the eggs, lays its own and quickly goes away. When the young Cuckoo hatches, almost always before the other eggs, starts to push the rest eggs (or the chicks in case they have hatched), throwing them outside the nest, and as a result it stays on its own. That way, it grows fast without having any competition, until it deserts the nest and gets independent.

Its call is the characteristic twin syllable “kou kou”, that can be heard at a distance. It has the size of a pigeon nearly, with a slimmer and longer body. Its tail is long and the bill short and slender. Its coloration is uniformly grey- sky-bluish on the upperparts, the throat and the breast, with the rest of the underbody being white with dark, thin horizontal lines. The female is similar to the male, with the chest being more beige with stripes, while there is the brown form that is brown-reddish on the upperparts with dark stripes along the whole body. Its legs, eye and eye-ring are yellow.

Cuculus canorus

Common Cuckoo

Did you know...

It’s a parasitic species, which means it lays its eggs in other species nests.