Revealed: The con trick cuckoos use to scare off rivals

They are notorious for their feckless parenting skills, leaving their offspring to be cared for by others. Now, it seems, cuckoos have other socially reprehensible characteristics: they are fraudsters. Zoologists from Cambridge University have shown how the cuckoo’s plumage allows the bird to pass itself off as a hunting bird of prey such as a sparrowhawk. By mimicking local predators, cuckoos are able to scare off birds from their nests, allowing them to replace any eggs with their own.

Read more on The Independent

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Author:

Zoah Hedges-Stocks is a journalist looking for opportunities in digital journalism in London. She read History at Cambridge University, where she was twice Editor-In-Chief of The Cambridge Student. She is currently writing a dreadful novel, and is keen to take on any freelance writing assignments that you might like to throw her way. Twitter: @zoah_hs

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