Cuckoo Bird PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Oct 21, 2021

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Cuckoos are members of the Cuculidae family, which is the only taxon in the Cuculiformes order. The common or European cuckoo, roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas, coucals, and anis are all members of the cuckoo family. The Centropodidae and Crotophagidae families are occasionally used to distinguish the coucals and anis. Cuculiformes is one of three orders that make up the Otidimorphae family, the other two being turacos and bustards.

Cuckoos are small, thin birds with a modest size. The majority of species reside in trees, while a small number live on the ground. The majority of species in the family are tropical, with a global range. Some species migrate in and out of the region. Insects, insect larvae, and a range of other creatures, as well as fruit, are eaten by cuckoos. Some species are brood parasites, depositing their eggs in other species’ nests and giving birth to the metaphorical cuckoo’s egg, although the vast majority of species nurture their own young.

Cuckoos have been a part of human society for thousands of years, and they are revered by the goddess Hera in Greek mythology. The cuckoo is linked with spring and cuckoldry in Europe, as evidenced by Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Cuckoos are holy to Kamadeva, the god of desire and longing in India, whereas the cuckoo represents unrequited love in Japan.

Cuckoos are medium-sized birds that range in size from 17 g and 15 cm (6 inches) for the small bronze cuckoo to 630 g (1.4 lbs) and 63 cm for the channel-billed cuckoo (25 inches). In general, there is little sexual dimorphism in size, but when it does occur, it can be either the male or the female.

The zygodactyl feet, with the two inner toes pointing forward and the two outer toes pointing backward, are one of the family’s most distinctive characteristics. There are two fundamental body types: arboreal species (like the common cuckoo) with thin bodies and short tarsi, and terrestrial species (like roadrunners) with heavier bodies and long tarsi.


Almost every species has a long tail that is utilized for steering in terrestrial species and as a rudder in arboreal species during flight. The wing form varies according to lifestyle, with migratory cuckoos like the black-billed cuckoo having long narrow wings capable of powerful straight flight and more terrestrial and stationary cuckoos like the coucals and malkohas having shorter rounded wings and a more arduous gliding flight.

The Old World’s brood-parasitic cuckoos belong to the Cuculinae subfamily. With (typically) long tails, small legs, long narrow wings, and an arboreal habitat, they tend to adhere to the traditional design. The channel-billed cuckoo, the family’s biggest member, also possesses the most outsized bill, like that of a hornbill. The non-parasitic cuckoos of the Old World belong to the Phaenicophaeinae subfamily, which includes the couas, malkohas, and ground-cuckoos.

They have strong, typically lengthy legs and small, rounded wings, making them more terrestrial cuckoos. Brighter plumage and vividly colored exposed skin around the eye are characteristic of this subfamily. The coucals are a terrestrial Old World subfamily of cuckoos with long tails, small legs, and short wings.

The greatest black coucal, which is about the same size as the channel-billed cuckoo, is a big, heavyset bird. The Coccyzinae subfamily has a variety of big insular species that are arboreal and have long tails.

The long-billed roadrunner, which can reach speeds of 30 km/h while hunting prey, is one of the New World ground cuckoos, which are similar to Asian ground cuckoos in that they are long-legged and terrestrial. The atypical anis, which includes the little clumsy anis and the bigger guira cuckoo, is the last subfamily. Massive bills and silky, glossy feathers distinguish anis.

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