Over the centuries, the call of the Cuckoo has been celebrated as one of the first signs of Spring. Many will look forward to hearing it in the month ahead. Yet, the arrival of the Cuckoo also provokes mixed feelings. For a number of birds, the Cuckoo is the enemy who tricks them into raising its own young. Tiny Willow Warblers struggle to find enough food to feed the Cuckoo young which towers over them. The Cuckoo never raises its own chick. Just how do they manage to trick these birds into carrying out the parenting for them? In this thrilling work by the naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, we learn the methods used by the Cuckoo to deceive its hosts and cheat by nature, year after year.
Davies has studied the Cuckoo and its breeding habits for thirty years and, as such, is ideally placed to explain their behaviour to us. We are also given an insight into the methods used by birds such as the Warblers, who have adapted to defend themselves against Cuckoo trickery. Yet, in turn, we learn just how the Cuckoo adult and chick are keeping one step ahead of the hosts to ensure that they can continue their practices.
Davies does not ignore the steep decline in the Cuckoo population and explains the impact that this has had on their usual hosts. This work takes us on a journey of real drama and is a fascinating insight into the lives of some of our favourite birds. Enhanced by photographs and beautiful field drawings by James McCallum, this is one book you will certainly not want to miss this Spring!
You can find further details of Cuckoo : Cheating by Nature in the main catalogue.