What Does A Cuckoo Look Like?


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The cuckoo is generally of a similar size to a dove. It has dark stripes along its under-side, with the rest of its body being a blue-grey. Cuckoos could well be mistaken for sparrowhawks with their slender, long body and tail. The wings of the cuckoo, however, are visibly more pointed than those of the sparrowhawk.

Male and female cuckoos appear very similar. Both have similar markings, and both have yellow eyes and legs, with a horn-coloured beak. Similarly, the tail is white-tipped in both sexes. Young cuckoos tend to be a red-brown colour, developing the grey feathers during adolescence.

When perched, cuckoos rest their wings below tail-level, with the birds often visible in grassland or reed beds. Cuckoos are notorious brood parasites, laying their eggs in other birds' nests and then leaving the host bird to nurture the young. Subsequently, the baby cuckoo pushes the other eggs out of the nest and learns to imitate their call.

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