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Posts Tagged ‘yellow billed cuckoo’

Took this photo of a Cuckoo and forgot to post is last June. I got to within 25-30′ of this juvenile, which is good because I rarely see them; just hear them all summer. Used a Canon 7D and a Canon EF300L IS 2/8 with a 1.4 TC yielding 420mm of lens:

 

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I got this photo last weekend; it is a large, slow, methodical bird; later identified as a Yellow Billed Cuckoo. It is rare to actually seen one as they spend much of their time in the tree canopy. THis bird was breaking into tent worm webs on a Black Cherry tree.

A common, but slow-moving and secretive denizen of woodlands, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo eats large quantities of hairy caterpillars. Its loud call is heard far more frequently than the bird is actually seen.

Cool Facts

  • Like the Black-billed Cuckoo, the young Yellow-billed Cuckoo develops incredibly quickly. The entire period from egg laying to fledgling leaving the nest lasts only 17 days. On day six or seven after hatching, the feathers of the young burst out of their sheaths, allowing the nestling to become fully feathered in two hours.
  • Both parents build the nest, incubate the eggs, and brood the nestlings. They incubate and brood equally during the day, but the male takes the night shift. The male brings nest material every time he comes to the nest to take his turn. The female usually takes the offering and works it into the nest.
  • Although the Yellow-billed Cuckoo usually raises its own young, occasionally it will lay its egg in the nest of another cuckoo, or even that of a different species. It has laid eggs in the nest of at least 11 different birds, most commonly in the nest of the Black-billed Cuckoo, American Robin, Gray Catbird, or Wood Thrush. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo may itself be the inadvertent host for an egg of a Black-billed Cuckoo or Brown-headed Cowbird.

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