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The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is the only member of the family that calls cuckoo-cuckoo-cuckoo… Most of the others have loud voices but totally different calls. The genus name clamator is Latin for "shouter" from clamare, "to shout". Only the male cuckoo calls cuckoo – the female’s bubbling call is often said to resemble the sound of bath water running out when the plug is pulled. This species is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. Males and females can be distinguished by the colour of their feathers. Upper parts of the males are bluish to grey, and their white bellies are intersected with dark lines. Some females may look like males, except that they have buff coloured breast with dark lines. Other types of females are reddish brown or covered with dark bars completely. Young cuckoos are slate-grey and reddish brown. The cuckoo does not build its own nests, because it is a brood parasite. That means that female cuckoo uses nests of other birds to lay her own eggs. Each season a female will lay between 12 and 22 eggs, all in different nests, and will generally lay her eggs in a nest belonging to the same species of bird that reared her. The common cuckoo is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis and the coucals.
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