Habits of the Cuckoo Bird
Across the world more than one hundred species of the cuckoo bird exists. Some experts estimate the number at over 125.
Cuckoo birds love tropical areas but they can thrive in temperate zones as well. In the U.S. these birds can be found mostly in the southern states such as Florida.
We are mostly familiar with this bird because of the many clocks created that attempt to mimic its sound. If you are wondering if the cuckoo sounds you hear on the cuckoo clocks are realistic, they match very closely to the sounds made by the European cuckoo - also known as Cuculus canorus.
Camping near the nest of a cuckoo bird pair can lead to sleepless nights as they have a tendency to sing at night as well as throughout the day. And natives who have lived among cuckoos for a long time sometimes refer to them as rain crows. Because they have an uncanny habit of becoming more vocal than usual just prior to a rainstorm.
Within their area of comfort, cuckoo birds are largely nomadic. They base their mating structures on where their food happens to be. In other words, they have no special loyalty to a specific area as some birds do. They migrate with their food sources. As their food source in one area disappears, they leave that place and go searching for greener pastures. As far as mating habits, cuckoo birds are mostly monogamous. During the courtship phase they love to feed each other. This helps the bonding process.
Cuckoo birds also have no reluctance to laying one or more eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving the other bird to raise their young. This behavior is known as brood parasitism in which they allow their brood, or offspring, to essentially become parasites and live off the efforts of another family. The other bird species doesn't necessarily have to belong to the cuckoo species. Cuckoos has been known to lay their eggs in the nests of robins, cardinals, sparrows, and others as well.
Cuckoos tend to build their nests closer to the ground than many other species. Their perfect height of a cuckoo's nest is somewhere between two feet to eight feet above the ground. Their diet is mainly insects but they especially like to dine on caterpillars. some species of cuckoos especially love the spiny types while other species don't like them at all. But all species love grasshoppers and crickets as well. If insects are not around they will gravitate towards fruits such as grapes and berries.