Common cuckoo’s clever strategy to scare reed warblers

Q.  Which bird does the cuckoo mimic to scare a reed warbler and hide eggs in the nest?
- Published on 06 Sep 17

a. Sparrow Hawk
b. Swallow
c. Falcon
d. Kite

ANSWER: Sparrow Hawk
Common cuckoo’s clever strategy to scare reed warblersThe common cuckoo, notorious for evading parental duty by hiding her eggs in the nests of other brooding birds, is even more devious than previously thought, scientists revealed.

After laying an egg, the female distracts the owner of the nest - a reed warbler in this case - essentially by frightening the poor bird out of its wits.

The cuckoo gives a “chuckle” that mimics the call of the sparrow hawk - which loves to snack on warbler flesh - before abandoning her egg among the warbler’s clutch and flying off to freedom.

This hawk-like chuckle call increases the success of parasitism by diverting host parents’ attention away from the clutch and towards their own safety.

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