Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cuckoos and Turacos

This group of birds include turacos, cuckoos, coucals, anis and the hoatzin. There are about 160 species in all.

Cuckoos are medium-sized, slender-bodied birds that live in forests and savannas and feed primarily on insects and insect larvae. Some cuckoo species are notorious for engaging in "brood parasitism"—the females lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and the baby cuckoo, when it hatches, will sometimes push the fledglings out of the nest! Anis, also known as New World cuckoos, inhabit the southernmost stretches of Texas, Mexico, Central America and South America; these law-abiding, black-plumed birds are not brood parasites.

The hoatzin is indigenous to the swamps, mangroves and wetlands of the Amazon and Orinoco River basins of South America. Hoatzins have small heads, spiky crests and long necks, and are mostly brown, with lighter feathers along their bellies and throats.

Did you know?
Cuckoo feeds on insects and its favorite food is hairy caterpillar.

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