Lifescapes Gallery

8 / May / 2013
A Bird in the Clock…
Common Cuckoo, Kabini
Kiran Poonacha

A Bird in the Clock…

If you’re a Dunnock, Pipit or a Eurasian Reed Warbler, you could be excused for walking around with a slightly confused expression. We empathise with the Warbler mom who lovingly tends to her eggs, and watches proudly as they hatch only to have one of the hatchlings respond to her maternal entreaties with a ‘cuckoo’ instead of warbling back. She may not realize it but she’s just one in a long line of birds that’s been ‘Cuckooed’! That’s because the Common Cuckoo of Kabini is a brood parasite, which essentially means that she prefers to lay her eggs in the nests of other birds. Not for her, the sweat and toil of building a cozy home for her newborns; why bother when there are other homes to gatecrash? In fact, hen Cuckoos have been known to visit over fifty such involuntary hosts during a breeding season, leaving behind a gift of one of her offspring, after pushing one of the original occupants out of the nest. As an aside, we’d advise those of you in the charity fundraising business to never  visit a Cuckoo home for contributions to a Child Fund…chances are they’ll donate  some children to the fund!  Not content with the unsavoury tag of a ‘brood parasite’, this bird also gave birth to the label of ‘cuckold’ that was appended to husbands in medieval England, whose wives, allegedly like hen Cuckoos, changed paramours regularly. On a happier note, the call of a Common Cuckoo has been seen, over the ages, as the harbinger of spring across Europe. In fact, their association with the heralding of time, created an entire industry with Cuckoo Clocks in the 17th century, using the bird’s call as an accepted way of announcing the hours. Of course, how popular these clocks were with married middle-aged men in the England of those days is debatable!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at 5:41 am and is filed under Birds, Kabini . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Post a facebook comment
Post a blog comment


 (will not be published, but required)

User Comments
  1. shy says:

    ah! yet again Kiran, that shot is superb! As always, the healthy competition between Kiran and narrator ( to out do each other) results in better than the lifescape of previous month. And I am compelled to comeback to get my treat for the eyes and the soul. Can you blame me 🙂
    Keep up the good work!

  2. geetha says:

    Really good picture and i appreciate writer.
    Good information. Thanks a lot.

  3. Anu Elisha says:

    Lovely photograph! Looks like the lady is actually posing for the shot. I do appreciate the time and patience of the photographer to get such a wonderful shot 😉 Nice write-up too (as usual) 😉 😉 😉

  4. Narayanan Raju says:

    Superb article matched by an equally excellent photograph. Great work!

  • Lifescapes Gallery
  • Contributors
  • Archives
  • Categories
Responsibile Tourism Initiatives
Orange County
© Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd. All rights reserved.