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Nick Sims

Contributor

Nick always had a love for nature. Growing up in Johannesburg, the annual family trip to the bush (particularly the Kruger Lowveld region of South Africa) became an escape from city life. When he and his brother weren't physically in the bush, they ...

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7 Comments

on The Curious Case Of The Cuckoos

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Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

Fascinating! Thanks for the insight on the beautiful cuckoo birds.

Gawie Jordaan
Senior Digital Ranger

A very uniquely developed & species related niche. Fascinating how birds just know where to go & when.

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you, Nick! Lovely photos and very interesting video. I think our Creator is an incredible Artist and Biologist and imprinted clear flight paths and how to survive in these beautiful little Cuckoos – as in so much else in Nature. The colours and varieties in Nature are spell-binding, aren’t they? He has thought of EVERYTHING. It is a most fascinating world from the gigantic planets and stars to the smallest living creature we have to look through a microscope to see! Wendy M

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Humanly I’m not so happy with the trickery done by cuckoos. It’s my human overlay upon nature, I know. But pushing out eggs or other babies from the nest just frustrates me. I feed birds year around here in America and learned a few years ago that I too had a certain bird whose behavior was the same as the cuckoo. Aggressive and food greedy, they simply take over…..if not from me, than from someone else. Again, it’s survival and natures way, but it doesn’t mean that I must like it. Thanks Nick for sharing this information. I’m sure others are unaware of certain bird’s duplicity. It is what it is…..

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Fascinating birds, I’ve always found brood parasitism incredibly interesting, not just in cuckoo’s, but also in the honeyguides and cuckoo-finches!

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Interesting blog Nick. I have heard the Didericks cuckoo calling in my gsrden this week and a first for me was hearing the African cuckoo at Nossob camp in the Kgalagadi two weeks ago.

Lachlan Fetterplace
Senior Digital Ranger

Interesting!It is amazing that you get so many cuckoo species. You also might be interested to know that there is some evidence that is isn’t always only of benefit to the cuckoo, and in the case the Great Spotted Cuckoo, for example, there is research suggesting nests with cuckoos in them are raided by predators less often compared to those without http://science.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1350
Bu to throw them back in the bad books (I don’t know if there has been any research on the species you encounter at Londolozi on this front though) there have been some species observed to retaliate when hosts reject their eggs…so perhaps some of the birds you are seeing do know there is an egg that isn’t theirs but may be not prepared to risk evicting it.

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