Mohammed’s Cuckoos

The cuckoo is one of the more interesting migrants in the animal kingdom. It spends part of the year in sunny Africa, but nests and breeds in Europe. Cuckoos appropriate the nests of other birds to lay eggs. The lark or dove in turn does not recognize the egg threat and even feeds the cuckoo chicks after they hatch. Eventually, the larger aggressive cuckoo chicks either evict or kill any host offspring.

Brood parasitism features several related behaviors; egg mimicry, egg or chick evictions, or once the cuckoo chick is established, nest fratricide. Still, no cuckoo ever becomes a chickadee.

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