10 Strange Facts About Cuckoo | Bird Mongolia

Post by Admin

There are many interesting facts about the Cuckoo, including its name, brood parasitism and the latest fact that the Mongolian Cuckoo completed the longest migration journey among all land birds. Here are some of the strangest facts about this least seen bird that you may not have heard.  

1. There are 54 species of Cuckoos on our planet, and four of them have been recorded in Mongolia, they are summer breeder. 


2. The sound of Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) calls cuckoo-cuckoo… is given its name Cuckoo and in Mongolia we call it Huhuu /Хөхөө/

3. Cuckoo’s breeding behavior is the strangest wonders of natural world

4. Cuckoo is known as brood parasitism, but not all species of Cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds’ nests

5. Each female Cuckoo mates with a number of males during the summer and lay up to 25 eggs and that means it is not possible to hatch all the eggs in the same nest, at the same time which is the reason that she adopts her eggs to the other species of birds. 


6. Recently born Cuckoo chic pushes out all the other eggs of its surrogate parents and take full of attention of the foster parents.


7. Onon, the Cuckoo named after Mongolian river, had the longest migration recorded by any land birds. Onon was the only Cuckoo that completed a round trip from Mongolia to his winter home in Zambia and back again, covering a total of 26,000km.  He was ringed in south eastern Mongolia at Khurkh Bird Ring station in August of 2019 and came back on 27 th of May 2020 in Mongolia. 

8. From mid-July to August, adult Cuckoos set off to spend the winter in southern Africa and their most of the journey nonstop. The tagged Onon Cuckoo completed 2560km across the Indian Ocean without stopping and that amazes scientists. 


9. The young cuckoos fly to the south about a month after its true parent, following the same route by their instinct.  As it is a summer breeder and the voice or calls of Cuckoo can be heard until its migration to the south. As this old rhyme tells:  In April I open my bill, In May I sing night and day, In June I change my tune, In July far far I fly, In August away I must. So that is why we can not hear its calls during autumn time. 


10. There are some of myths and legends which related to Cuckoo in some counties among some of the world’s nationalities. In Mongolia: the legend of Cuckoo Namjil is one of the most popular and ancient tale that relates to Cuckoo. 

Once upon a time, Namjil, a horseman from the far east of Mongolia, enlisted in the army and defended the west. When he sang in a melodious voice, a local horseman would come down and a pedestrian would sit and listen. Many people admired and praised Namjil, a beautiful man, and called him "Khukhuu Namjil", resembling the song of a bird. 

Source of the images:,, 

Check out more information on Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 

Category: Birding