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Great Spotted cuckoo

Great Spotted cuckoo
Photo Information
Copyright: Mike Rolfe (fiftysomething) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 3 N: 141] (657)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D, Canon EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Eliz strange, exotic or little known species - 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-01-23 5:26
Viewed: 3705
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Great Spotted Cuckoo, Clamator glandarius, is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis, the coucals, and the Hoatzin.

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.

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.

I took this photo in the Kruger park south of Satara in January, a month in which it appears to be regarded as a rare sighting. It was my first sighting of this bird in over 30 visits to the park.

anel, uleko, Dee_eS, PeterZ, jaycee, Juyona, ferranjlloret, albert has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-01-23 5:37]

hello Mike,
Very beautiful picture, well composed and with fine colors. Most beautiful light in this shot too. This bird looks really special and I was very interested to read your note about this beautiful species.
Thanks a lot
Best regards

great capture, I did not know they migrate to much to the south. In Israel they are frequent nesters. TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-23 7:00]

Hello Mike,
WHat a beautiful Cuckoo very nicely captured showing its head in profile. Great focus, sharp details and beautiful natural colours. A lovely green background as a contrast and a very nice composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Mike,

Great and clean shot! Nice pose, good sharpness. TFS


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-01-23 15:13]

Hi Mike,

I have never seen a Cuckoo - only it's cousin the Greater Roadrunner. A beautiful bird in a wonderful pose. I love his profile with his wonderful eye. He looks so long and sleek. Nice natural colors and good details of his face, plumage, wings, and tail feathers. The vertical composition and the background are excellent.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-01-24 0:34]

Hola Mike,
preciosa captura y pose...
buen foco y encuadre,

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-01-24 9:23]

very interesting bird. first time when i see this

Hello Mike,
Excellent capture of this Great Spotted Cuckoo. Well composed and good sharpness. TFS and best regards. Ferran.

Hello Mike,
Great capture, very good focus with clear details of the plumage
Bird well detached from a nice blurried BG

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