The cuckoo is a summer visitor to Catalonia and announces the arrival of spring with its unmistakable call, which is reminiscent of cuckoo clocks. It arrives from the end of March into April from its wintering sites in sub-equatorial Africa.
The cuckoo’s main food is caterpillars, and its favourite type is the pine processionary. To eat them, first of all it removes their innards, then it swallows them, finally regurgitating the hairs.
The cuckoo does not build a nest, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other species. The female cuckoo takes advantage of the adoptive parents leaving the nest to lay her egg and steal one from the original clutch. She will repeat this process around eight times in different nests over the summer. The cuckoo’s egg is usually the first to hatch, and the newly hatched chick will soon make sure the original eggs or chicks fall out of the nest. The female from the invaded nest will feed the single cuckoo chick until it flies the nest after around three weeks.