Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo, Kuifkoekoek, Häherkuckuck, Cuco-rabilongo, Crialo Europeo

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                             Great Spotted Cuckoo sound    

The Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis and the coucals.

It is a widespread summer migrant to southeast and southwest Europe and western Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which lays its eggs in the nests of corvids (especially magpies), and starlings.

Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo

This species is slightly larger than the Common Cuckoo at 35–39 cm length, but looks much larger with its broad wings and long narrow tail.

Unlike the Common Cuckoo, neither the hen nor the hatched chick of this species evict the host’s eggs, but the young magpies often die because they cannot compete successfully with the cuckoo for food.

The adult is grey above with a slender body, long tail and strong legs. It has a grey cap, grey wings, a yellowish face and upper breast, and white underparts. Sexes are similar. The juveniles have blackish upperparts and cap, and chestnut primary wing feathers. This species has a magpie-like flight.

It is a bird of warm open country with trees. Its food is insects, with hairy caterpillars, which are distasteful to many birds, being a speciality.

The Great Spotted Cuckoo’s call is a loud cher-cher-kri-kri and variations.

Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo Birding Portugal
Great Spotted Cuckoo

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Gevlekte Koekoek
Asturian: Cuquiellu Rial
Catalan: Cucui reial, Cucut reial
Catalan (Balears): Cucui reial
Czech: Kukacka chocholatá
Welsh: Cog frech
Danish: Skadegøg
German: Haeherkuckuck, Häherkuckuck
English: Great Spotted Cuckoo
Esperanto: tufkukulo
Spanish: Crialo, Críalo, Críalo Español, Críalo Europeo, Cucu Europeo
Estonian: harakkägu
Basque: Cucut reial, Kuku mottuduna
Finnish: harakkakäki, Töyhtökäki
Faroese: Skjórugeykur
French: Coucou geai
Irish: Mórchuach Bhreac
Galician: Cuco real, Cucut reial
Hungarian: Pettyes kakukk , Szajkókakukk
Icelandic: Dílagaukur
Italian: Cuculo dal ciuffo
Japanese: madarakammurikakkou, madarakanmurikakkou
Latin: Clamator glandarius, Clamator glandarius cherigium
Maltese: Sultan il-Gamiem tat-Toppu
Dutch: Kuifkoekoek
Norwegian: Skjæregjøk
Polish: kukulka czubata, Synogarlica senegalska
Portuguese: cuco rabilongo, Cuco-rabilongo
Romansh: Cucu ticlà
Slovak: Kukavica chochlatá
Slovenian: copasta kukavica
Shona: Haya
Albanian: Qyqja me çafkë
Serbian: Africka (cubasta) kukavica, Africka kukavica, Cubasta kukavica, kukavica africka
Swedish: Skatgök
Swahili: Kekeo Madoa
Turkish: Büyük Guguk, Tepeli Guguk


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