CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

Cuckoo
Artist : Barrie Morris
Media : Mixed Media
Size : 40 x 50 cm. (plus frame)

Price : £1,950.00 (inc. VAT)

CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus)                                                                                         MAY

Of all the birds in Britain, the Cuckoo surely has the most familiar call of all.                   Composer Frederick Delius captured that sound we have all come to recognise, in his exquisite tone poem of 1912: ’On hearing the first Cuckoo in spring’. Cuckoos do symbolize the beginning of spring but they are not here for long: The Cuckoo comes in April, ‘She sings her song in May, She changes her tune in the month of June, And July she flies away.’

Cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, often being that of the Dunnock or Hedge Sparrow. At the appropriate moment, the hen Cuckoo flies down to its nest, swallows one of the Dunnock’s eggs that has already been laid there, and promptly lays one of her own – a behaviour known as paratism. She can repeat this up to 50 times during a breeding season. The confused Dunnock is tricked into thinking the egg is hers. Thus she unknowingly becomes a surrogate mother to the young Cuckoo. With no parental responsibility, the male and female Cuckoo can take to the skies