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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Indian Cuckoo: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Discover Indian cuckoo facts that will blow your mind.

The Indian cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus) is a beautiful bird that has an interesting mating ritual. As part of this, males build fake nests and sing to females in order for them to move closer, but when the female gets close enough the male flies away! Indian cuckoos (Cuculus micropterus) have a reputation for being rather destructive birds when it comes to their nesting habits and it is not uncommon for them to take over abandoned nests that another bird has put up with. Indian cuckoos (Cuculus micropterus) are one of the most iconic species in India, but they can be found in Asia and Africa as well!

The Indian cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus) has a long, slender, and curved bill. These Cuculus micropterus birds can be found in India during the monsoon season and they fly to northern Pakistan for winter, but some have even seen this bird as far north as China! However, most sightings of these birds are around their breeding areas which include southern Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan with Tajikistan being one of the bird's primary habitats. This is an Asian migratory species that feeds on insects such as ants and termites and also eats lizards, snakes, and frogs eggs. The Indian cuckoo has a voracious appetite. They are known to eat more than their body weight in food every day, and as such, they have been described as gluttons by many.

For more relatable content, check out these yellow-billed cuckoo facts and black-billed cuckoo facts for kids.

Indian Cuckoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indian cuckoo?

The Indian cuckoo is a type of bird that sings like no other!

What class of animal does an Indian cuckoo belong to?

The Indian cuckoo is a bird that belongs to the class Aves, which means it has feathers. One of its key identifying features is its long and curved bill with an upward curving hook at the tip.

How many Indian cuckoos are there in the world?

There are between 15-17 million Indian cuckoos in the world.

Where does an Indian cuckoo live?

The Indian cuckoo is known to be found living in a variety of habitats, ranging from tropical areas with forests and open woodland regions into the temperate zone.

What is an Indian cuckoo's habitat?

The Indian cuckoo's habitat is found in parts of southern Asia and western Europe, including countries like Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Spain. In Spain, they have been spotted living on the outskirts of Madrid just outside a metro station!

Who do Indian cuckoos live with?

Indian cuckoo birds are found in many parts of the world, including southeast Asia and Australia. These birds live with their family for the first few weeks of life before striking out on their own to find a mate.

How long does an Indian cuckoo live?

Native to India, the Indian cuckoo can live as long as 17 years. These birds are small birds with brown upperparts and white underparts. They have black stripes on their head.

How do they reproduce?

Indian cuckoo birds are known for their incredible and unusual reproductive cycle. First, females lay a  single egg in another bird's nest, so that their chicks will have a head-start over any unhatched babies who must fend for themselves from birth. When newly hatched Indian cuckoo hatchlings decide it is time to leave mom's nest they do not go far! Female birds wait around while their mates take care of all parenting duties. Males raise each chick without any help whatsoever from the mother bird. Finally, after about two months of this care from the dad, once again the female lays another single egg.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN conservation status of the Cuculus micropterus bird is Least Concern.

Indian Cuckoo Fun Facts

What do Indian cuckoos look like?

The appearance of the Cuculus micropterus varies, but most have gray or brown plumage and a long tail with broad white tips on their wing feathers. These birds also have small heads that are typically yellow in coloration and they possess large bright orange eyes. Indian cuckoos can be recognized by their distinctive call which sounds like 'cuc-coo'.

The Indian cuckoo bird has broad white tips on its wing feathers and a long tail.

How cute are they?

The Indian cuckoo's (Cuculus micropterus) song is known to be very beautiful. It also has a very bright plumage that can look as if it were made from gold and silver jewels, which makes for quite an enchanting sight. It is almost as spectacular as an Atlantic puffin!

How do they communicate?

Cuculus micropterus birds communicate with each other using special vocalizations and calls that only they can understand. They produce a loud call to communicate to coordinate laying eggs in the same nest and to modify the timing of egg-laying based on available resources, so as not to take food from one another's chicks.

How big is an Indian cuckoo?

Indian cuckoo birds (Cuculus micropterus) can measure up to 15 in (40 cm) or so from head to tail!

How fast can an Indian cuckoo fly?

The specific speed of this species is not known. It flies so quickly that no one has been able to measure its speed accurately enough yet, just like a black cuckoo!

How much does an Indian cuckoo weigh?

The Indian cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus) is a small bird species weighing about 0.2-0.7 lb (270-380 g). It has a dark brown plumage with black spots on the wings and chestnut patches around its eyes, neckline, and upper back region.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Both male and female birds of this species are referred to as Indian cuckoo birds!

What would you call a baby Indian cuckoo?

A baby cuckoo bird of this species has no specific name and it is commonly known simply as a baby cuckoo.

What do they eat?

Indian cuckoos are known to feed on small insects like hairy caterpillars, as well as fruits as part of their diet. They have a large hook in their beaks for catching prey to feed on. Their own predators include species such as a weasel and a stoat.

Are they dangerous?

This bird has a reputation for being naughty rather than dangerous, it has been recorded stealing food items like papaya!

Would they make a good pet?

The Indian cuckoo is not a bird that is commonly kept as a pet. These birds can sometimes mimic human voices which have led some to believe that they are a sign of bad luck!

Did you know...

Female cuckoos are silent, they don't call. They have no need for a loud call when delivering their young into someone else's nest during the breeding season!

Do Indian cuckoos migrate?

The Indian cuckoo is a bird that migrates from the north of India to southern areas in the month of June.

Why do cuckoos call?

One of the many mysteries surrounding cuckoos is why they call. One theory posits that their calls are a way to attract mates in the breeding season and to establish their territory in their habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our sea eagle facts and white gyrfalcon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Indian cuckoo coloring pages.

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