The cuckoos are a family, Cuculidae, of near passerine birds. The cuckoo family, in addition to those species named as such, also includes the roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas. The coucals and anis are also sometimes counted, but are sometimes separated as distinct families.
The cuckoos are generally medium sized slender birds. The majority are arboreal, with a sizeable minority that are terrestrial. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the majority of species being tropical. Many species are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species, but the majority of species raise their own young.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 153.
- The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo's note.
- Thomas Gray, Ode on the Spring.
- And now I hear its voice again,
And still its message is of peace,
It sings of love that will not cease,
For me it never sings in vain.
- Frederick Locker-Lampson, The Cuckoo.
- Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
- Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.
- The cuckoo builds not for himself.
- And being fed by us you used us so
As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow.
- The cuckoo then on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.
- The merry cuckow, messenger of Spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded.
- Edmund Spenser, Sonnet 19.
- While I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of spring.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 576.
- List—'twas the cuckoo—O, with what delight
Heard I that voice! and catch it now, though faint,
Far off and faint, and melting into air,
Yet not to be mistaken. Hark again!
Those louder cries give notice that the bird,
Although invisible as Echo's self,
Is wheeling hitherward.
- William Wordsworth, The Cuckoo at Laverna.
- O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice;
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?
- William Wordsworth, To the Cuckoo.