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Five Cuckoos - puzzling behaviour (1 Viewer)

cj.holder

Well-known member
On Saturday at about 06:30am, I arrived at a nature reserve in south Worcestershire, and I heard a number of cuckoos calling. The calls were coming from different directions, and they were obviously moving around.

Through my bins I spotted one and then a second in the same tree. When one flew off, the other did so as well, and looked as if it was chasing the first. Then I spotted others as well, and saw five were active at the same time. It was difficult to follow all of the action, but the impression I got was that four were chasing the first bird. When it landed in a tree, the others did so as well, and then followed when the first bird flew to another tree. After a couple of minutes they flew further away and disappeared from sight.

I assumed this was either breeding behaviour with four males chasing a female or a territorial battle. They were certainly not acting as shyly as cuckoos normally do, and were calling constantly when perched in a tree.

Is this normal cuckoo behaviour? It's rare to see a single cuckoo, but to see five at the same time acting in a strange way was amazing.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
That's a great experience. I agree that it is likely to be territorial and prospecting males chasing a solitary female.
 

pratincol

Well-known member
On Saturday at about 06:30am, I arrived at a nature reserve in south Worcestershire, and I heard a number of cuckoos calling. The calls were coming from different directions, and they were obviously moving around.

Through my bins I spotted one and then a second in the same tree. When one flew off, the other did so as well, and looked as if it was chasing the first. Then I spotted others as well, and saw five were active at the same time. It was difficult to follow all of the action, but the impression I got was that four were chasing the first bird. When it landed in a tree, the others did so as well, and then followed when the first bird flew to another tree. After a couple of minutes they flew further away and disappeared from sight.

I assumed this was either breeding behaviour with four males chasing a female or a territorial battle. They were certainly not acting as shyly as cuckoos normally do, and were calling constantly when perched in a tree.

Is this normal cuckoo behaviour? It's rare to see a single cuckoo, but to see five at the same time acting in a strange way was amazing.

Not seen 5 together doing this, but I've seen 3 behaving in similar manner.
I guess there was some sort of territorial argy-bargy going on.
Must have been nice to see 5 all at once!
 

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