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Birds of the Bible – Cuckoo (by Lee Dusing)

Again we have a bird that is in a list of “unclean” birds. This time we will look at the Cuckoo. No. This is not the bird that pops out of your clock on the hour and sings. Let’s find out about the real Cuckoos.

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Deuteronomy 14:15 KJV)
And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Leviticus 11:16 KJV)

Here in the U. S. we have a Black-billed, Common, Mangrove, Yellow-billed and Oriental, Cuckoos. The Common and Oriental Cuckoos have only been seen in Alaska. The Mangrove is seen along the mangroves of southern Florida and the other two like dense thickets, woodlands, orchards and along streams. Worldwide there are close to 100 species of Cuckoos. Our Roadrunner is the same family – cuculidae.
The cuckoos have a slender body with a downcurved bill and a long tail. Most of them have spots on the underside of their tails and the sexes are similiar. Many species of cuckoos have a habit of laying their eggs in another’s kind of bird’s nest and letting those parent raise the bird. The chick seems to hatch first and then either knocks the other eggs out of the nest or harms the new chicks. Other cuckoos raise their own babies.

You-Tube of Cuckoo Sound with pictures – one showing warbler feeding baby. (from Poland)