Yellow-billed cuckoos

Cuckoo invasion!

These birds are usually scarce, especially in town. But, for the last week or so their hollow cuk cuk cruu calls have rung all around. There are at least three of them around our house and garden, an area of less than an acre. Cuckoos tend to congregate where food is plentiful, then they quickly set up shop to breed. The young birds grow so fast that their immature pin feathers literally pop open as the feathers shoot out. Perhaps the tens of thousands of cicadas in the trees here have attracted several breeding pairs to our neighborhood.

Cuckoos winter in the Amazon rainforest, so the adults in our trees are some of the most well-traveled animals in Sewanee.

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