donderdag 11 juli 2013

The "Weekly" Biology Session: Cuckoo!

Two days ago I was very much in the need of some crochet time and some interesting videos. I wanted to see a David Attenborough documentary about plants (Kingdom of Plants) for some time so I found it on YouTube and put it on. It was interesting, but the documentary that I also saw in the result list was far more interesting.

The Cuckoo is such a strange bird. It tricks Reed Warblers into caring for their offspring. Literally. The female Cuckoo takes the Reed Warbler eggs away and puts her own egg into its nest. The most beautiful trick is that the Cuckoo egg closely resembles the eggs of the Reed Warbler. Otherwise the Reed Warbler will abandon her nets. And the little Cuckoo is even a bigger trickster! When the youngster Cuckoo hatches it has an instinct that tells "Me! Me!" and takes care of pushing leftover Reed Warblers out of their nest. But it seems the Reed Warbler parents are not botherd by this and respond always to the begging call of the Cuckoo youngling.

 Reed warbler feeding cuckoo chick (c) Andy Sands / NPL

Such a strange and interesting bird since it is one of the few parasitic birds. Really fascinating and for this reason I wanted to share the documentary with you all.

And of course, David Attenborough is an absolute joy to listen to!

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