Deaf cuckoo photo and description, listen to voice, eggs and reproduction

This is a bird that belongs to the cuckoshaped detachment, the cuckoo family. This species was listed in the list of rare birds of Eurasia as a species that is located on the area of ​​the area.


Representatives of the species look like individuals of ordinary cuckoo. An adult representative of this species from above is gray, crown and nades a little lighter. A ash-gray-gray throat with a zob. The belly is white, there is an ocher coating, it may also have dark streaks. White brush feathers. The underside of the wing is also white, but there are stripes on the flight feathers. Tail feathers are black, their tops are white. The area above the beak is brown, under the beak the coat is much lighter. Legs are yellow.

The female deaf cuckoo is dimorphic. The female gray morph does not look like a male: she has a red coating on her neck. The female red morph has a red top and a white bottom with an orange bloom. The flight feathers also have buffy markings. Tail feathers are red, they have black stripes.

Individuals have a wing fold speculum that is colored white. The length of an individual varies from 3 to 3.3 cm. Wing length is usually 2.08 cm in males and 1.96 in females. The average weight of the deaf cuckoo ranges from 73 to 156 g.


The deaf cuckoo lives both in tall forests, and in the forest-tundra and some pine forests, which are located from the Urals to the shores of Sakhalin and Kamchatka, in the Kuriles, and in the central part of Eurasia. The deaf cuckoo in the Koryak Highlands hides in alder elfin forests, and in the Primorsky Territory it is often found in deciduous forests and groves that cover the hills. In Altai, habitats are located at an altitude of up to 1900 m above sea level. Some distribution centers are located in the Volga region, on the territory of the Moscow region. Representatives of the species prefer coniferous forests.


Migrations take place in autumn, their direction is east.  In all places of migration, representatives of the species appear in spring. The earliest meetings with traveling cuckoos were recorded in Kazakhstan in the first days of May.

The deaf cuckoo winters in the Philippines, Malacca and New Guinea. Departure of young and adults ends in August.

nesting sites

These birds nest on tree branches or in very dense folds of the taiga. The animal avoids open spaces, man-made landscapes.


The male can be easily recognized: he usually emits paired and monotonous syllables. At the beginning of their song, the male will say “boo-boo-boo-boo” or clucking cries. When cuckooing, the tail of the male is lowered, the head is strongly drawn into the shoulders, and the resonator bags on the throat are greatly swollen. Sometimes an individual flies off a tree, screaming, and then begins to fly in a straight line, slightly raising its head. The male also hoots like the common cuckoo. The female makes gurgling sounds, but the intervals between “clicks” are large.


Mating season starts in May and ends in July. This species is poorly understood, therefore it is impossible to say how the female behaves during the laying of eggs and their movement to other people’s nests. Eggs are small, white with red spots. These birds parasitize warblers and black-headed curlers, so the color of the eggs can vary from white to gray. The cub hatches on the 11th day. Cuckoo throws away the offspring of foster parents. The behavior of the chick is similar to the behavior of this common cuckoo. The plumage of the cub is almost black. The color of the pharynx is orange, the rollers located on the corners of the mouth are reddish. The incubation period takes approximately 11-12 days, feeding 14 days. Feeding the fledgling lasts the same.

deaf cuckoo eggs

What does it eat

The deaf cuckoo feeds on insects such as hairy caterpillars and tree beetles. Often these birds feed on silkworm butterflies and tachin flies, weevil mosquitoes. These birds also eat spiders, cockchafers and ladybugs. This bird loves to eat the offspring of other birds.


Moulting in this species occurs in winter and only once a year. Primary flight feathers molt from August to the end of September, and growing ones from the last days of November to April.

Interesting Facts

  1. Deaf cuckoos live 10 years, but breeding tactics do not change over the years.
  2. This species leads a secretive lifestyle, but birds are known to create pairs only during the breeding season.
  3. Deaf cuckoos do not build nests, but like to steal eggs from other species. The “territory” of each individual on which it hunts is several hectares.
  4. Representatives of this species monitor what is happening around and, in case of danger, settles their chicks in a hollow.
  5. Males of this species call in the morning and in the evening. They do this not only during the mating season, but also from spring to late summer. This is how birds adapt to the rhythm of life of other species that will raise their chicks.
  6. Deaf cuckoos are quite gluttonous. Their appetite becomes more modest only during the breeding season. Birds are very active during this period.
  7. The offspring of this bird species that are educators are fed the same as their own offspring. So, black-throated hiccups feed their cubs with berries and locusts, and warblers with small spiders and caterpillars. Moreover, they bring food every 2 minutes.

Deaf cuckoos have almost no enemies. Sometimes birds are attacked by representatives of hawks or predatory mammals.

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