COMMON CUCKOO

It is a well-shaped long-tailed bird, a little bit smaller than a pigeon, which resembles a sparrow-hawk. The upper part of the body is usually dark-grey (females and young birds are sometimes ginger-colored); the bottom is cross-barred. The male’s voice is known-to-everybody cuckoo; the female’s voice is a sonorous warble or a hollow chirp that sounds like a sullen “boff”.

The bird feeds mostly on insects and maggots and sometimes berries and birds’ eggs. The cuckoo is very ravenous.
It is widely encountered in all forest area of the region. The bird is common in Yenisei area to the north of the Polar circle and is rare in southern and typical forest tundra.

The cuckoo populates different forests with small portion of larch but avoids coniferous forests. The most of the birds live in floodplains where there is a lot of sparrow-like birds on which nests the cuckoo sponges on. It also inhabits all kinds of groves, bunches of trees, shrubs and brushwood in forest-steppe and steppe area of the region. The maximum population lives in broken mixed and larch forests of southern taiga and in forest-steppe groves.

One cuckoo lays its eggs (minimum twenty during a season) in the nests of smaller birds of passerine family. In the north, it is usually warblers (arctic warbler and willow warbler), less frequently – field sparrow. As to the suburbs of Krasnoyarsk, the small birds the cuckoo parasites on are rubythroat, wagtail, tree-pipit and red-backed shrike. The color of the cuckoo’s eggs is similar to those of the birds the eggs were laid to, but they are bigger in size. After hatching out of an egg the cuckoo’s nestling throws out all the other eggs and nestlings leaving itself alone in the nest.