Home » Paragraph Writing » Paragraph on “Why do cuckoos have foster parents?” complete paragraph for Class 9, Class 10, Class 11 and Class 12

Paragraph on “Why do cuckoos have foster parents?” complete paragraph for Class 9, Class 10, Class 11 and Class 12

Why do cuckoos have foster parents?

Because cuckoos breed parasitically ! That is, the cuckoo hen places her egg in the nest of another bird and leaves it to hatch and be fed and nourished by a foster mother, so forcing her young to live on the hospitality of a different species. Each cuckoo hen confines her breeding activities to a particular territory, and after having mated, spends much of her time spying on suitable foster parents. She looks for the nests of birds whose eggs closely resemble the size, colour and markings of her own; she is also careful to see that the eggs are at the same stage of breeding as her own. She most commonly chooses the nest of the meadow pipit and the dunnock and often, that of the reed warbler.

Having made her choice, the female cuckoo removes, and usually swallows, one egg from the host’s nest, and replaces it with her own. After about two weeks the chick hatches out quite often before its foster brothers and

Sisters, and instinctively beings to push the others out of the nest. When only one or two days old, still blind, not  yet feathered and very weak, it works its way beneath the remaining eggs, or newly hatched chicks, one by one, placing them in a hollow on its back. It moves backwards up the side of the nest, and heaves the poor creatures over the side.

Mysteriously, the host mother does not try to rescue her chicks, so harshly thrown from their nests to die, but concent rates on feeding the young cuckoo who soon grow, much larger than she. Quite often she has to stand on the cuckoo’s back to feed it ! The cuckoo stays longer in the nest being fed by the foster parents, than most bird species — who usually fend for themselves once they have learned to fly, at about three weeks. As a result the cuckoo becomes too large for the nest, often breaking it apart and sitting on the ruins.

When fully grown the cuckoo, various species of which are found in most parts of the world, will leave the foster parents and instinctively fly the migratory route of all cuckoos. Pied wagtails, robins, and sedge warblers are others among about 5o different species that this amazing bird has been known to nest with. Even the tiny wren, sometimes as small as 10 centimetres, has successfully reared a cuckoo.


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