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Common Cuckoo | Cuculus canorus

The Common Cuckoo is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Cuculidae bird family group which includes birds such as Old World Cuckoos, Malkohas.

The description for the Common Cuckoo (Latin name Cuculus canorus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cuculus canorus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 374 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 207. You will find a picture of the Common Cuckoo on page 208.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as European Cuckoo in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Cuckoo between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Common Cuckoo has a height of 33 cms and weighs around 105 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Cuculus canorus has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are orange.

The male Cuculus canorus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are orange

Bill is black

Legs are yellow

Throat is grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

The Common Cuckoo is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Common Cuckoo is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Cuckoo is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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