Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Cuckoos Are Back !

Le Coucou gris (cuculus canorus), the bird we know as the cuckoo, spends spring in Europe. They arrive in April from their wintering grounds in southeastern Africa and stay with us until about the end of June when they head back south.

The adult coucou perches in the tops of trees to sing. This image is from Les oiseaux de France by Jean-Claude Chantelat (Solar).

The call of the coucou is exactly what you expect it to be. In fact, more than one of our house guests over the past 4 years have asked if we have a cuckoo clock and could we turn it off in the morning. You know it's spring when you hear, "coucou, coucou." There's not a more welcome sound as far as I'm concerned.

The funny thing about coucous is that, while you hear them all over the place, you rarely see them. They're good at hiding. In fact, they like to perch in the very tops of trees, far from view.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I had ever seen the pic of a real cuckoo. :)
    Great photo!

    ReplyDelete

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