Sorry, No Picture! The order Cuculiformes is made up of Cuckoos, Anis, and Roadrunners. Cuculus is Latin for (you guessed it) "Cuckoo". The upper half of the beak, of all these birds, curves downwards in a slight hook. They all have "graduated" tails made up of several rows of feathers of different lengths. When they spread their tails, the feathers on the outside edge are the shortest, and the ones in the centre are the longest. One different characteristic of these birds is the arrangement of their four toes - two point forwards, and two backwards. This order of birds is found on all continents where there are insects to eat. That's pretty much everywhere but Antarctica. They are many more species of this order in the eastern hemisphere than in the western hemisphere. In Europe and Great Britain, Cuckoos are famous for avoiding work by laying their eggs in other bird's nests. Their chicks are naked when they hatch, but they aren't helpless. They are very aggressive and often throw their foster parents' chicks right out of the nest. The several species of Cuckoos in North America are responsible parents who build nests and care for their own young. [LH] {BA} {LE}
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