Cuckoo - The Enemy in My Nest

Nature & Wildlife 52' 2017 HD

It’s no news that cuckoos are brood parasites: they lay their eggs into the nests of other bird species – a clever trick that spares the rearing of own offspring. Some even go as far as to kill the other chicks in the nest. But why do other parent birds let this happen? Are they too stupid? Too inept? Or simply clueless? Admittedly, cuckoo’s eggs do look deceptively genuine. But the cuckoo chick? Not even remotely! It quickly grows into a giant that looks nothing like its new family. So why don’t the adoptive parents notice the sham then? Until recently, the ornithologists’ theory was: the “victims” have yet to learn to counteract. Turns out: they may even profit from having strangers’ chicks in their nest! So is cuckoo’s behaviour a phenomenal trick or an evolutionary riddle?

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Text + Bild Medienproduktion


German, English, French


WDR, SWR, arte

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