Saturday, 25 August 2012

Going cuckoo!

A juvenile Cuckoo [Cuculus canorus] Coucou gris came to our window yesterday evening... very fleeting. It took something off the wall between the kitchen and the lounge and then sat for a moment in the cherry tree... looking straight at us!
How do I know that it is a juvenile... it was still around this morning [but vanished each time before I could photograph it!]... it had a telltale spot of white on the nape of the neck. No photographs... but what follows is a LOT of interesting links.

The Cuckoo is a Red List bird and a number of British nesting Cuckoos have been radio tagged and you can follow some of them on the BTO website on this page.

Two, both back in Africa now, are Lyster [who has a BBC article about him here] who can be followed here and Chris [named after Chris Packham] who can be followed here.
These two have been "followed" now for two journeys south and one back.

A female named Idemili who was tagged this year, was found injured and nursed back to health and has now been given a "lift" to Italy to help her on her way.
These two links have the story:
Cityplanter: Cuckoo hitches lift on a plane after missing migration.
Daily Mail: Freedom cuckoo with business Class BA flight to Italy [This article has the fuller story... the first shows what a sorry state she was in.]
The BTO have not re-tagged her... probably because, as a breeding female, she is too valuable to lose.

I shall see if it is around tomorrow morning, given the wind today... very strong and from the east... it may well have stayed, sheltered in our willows [the last place I saw it disappear] or in the trees along the riverbank. I'm sure that it won't have wanted to waste energy trying to fly into that!

Just think...
it has never seen another Cuckoo...
it is flying alone....
it has around another three and a half thousand miles to go to get to the Congo...
apart from the gross parental neglect, how the **** does it know where to go...
it thinks it is a Reed Warbler or whatever species the mother specialized in imitating the eggs of...
some evolution!

Bonne chance, CouCou!!


Colin and Elizabeth said...

And to think, not that many years ago one of my offspring couldn't find his way home from Preston bus-station without ringing home for guidance.... Makes you think, doesn't it!

Jim and Pauline said...

Any bird migration is just amazing - how do they do it? (No Tim don't tell me!)Loved Colin's comment.