As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Cuckoos' shameless egg-laying tactics revealed

Great spotted cuckoos lay their eggs while magpie mothers are still sitting on their nests, a study has shown.

Cuckoos are known for deceiving other birds into raising their young by depositing their eggs into host nests.

It had been thought female cuckoos waited until host birds left the nest before secretively laying their eggs.

But researchers were surprised when they recorded female cuckoos forcing magpies out of the way as they sat incubating their eggs.

The scientists, from Spain and Belgium wrote: "Great spotted cuckoo females entered the nest more frequently when the magpie female was incubating than when the nest was empty.

"This implies that great spotted cuckoo female behaviour is not secretive at all."

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