One Cuckoo Flew Over

The day actually started all wrong. The nets were frozen. Yup, almost the end of May and the nets are frozen at 6 AM. This was more than your run-of-the-mill hoar frost. This was ICE. In pretty little balls about the size of a chickadee’s eye, and all holding the nets closed tight. It was a nightmare to open them – I finally resorted to pouring hot water on them. Oh yeah, I could have waited – but then I would have gotten up at 5 AM for nothing! And this was the first morning in a week without wind.

And then it got better. One of the first birds in the nets this morning was this lovely and not-often-seen black-billed cuckoo. These birds are more often heard than seen. A little later in the morning, there was also a yellow-billed cuckoo in the net, but not very well and it escaped before I reached it.


I haven’t handled a cuckoo in probably 20 years, and had forgotten how simple and beautiful they are. No gaudy colors here, no flashy marking, just plain brown above and creamy gray-white below. Long tail – and a relatively big bird – and yet to handle them, there is almost nothing to their size. They are slender and slight, with most of them tail.


Life is good.

Posted in Birds. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “One Cuckoo Flew Over”

  1. KGMom Says:

    Heavy frost in NJ? The nights have been very cool here in central PA, but no frost. Maybe there is out in the woods, but I am in the ‘burbs.
    Cool pics and story about the cuckoo.

  2. Lynne from Hasty Brook Says:

    Thanks for pointing out the beauty in the simple.

  3. Laura Says:

    What a treat to see nice up-close cuckoo pics – they’re so hard to see well!

    I enjoy the warmish days and cool nights – although all the opening and closing of the windows is kind of a pain!

  4. mon@rch Says:

    I always love catching cuckoo’s! One year I caught a yellow-billed cuckoo and you would think I would have remember to take a picture of it! Great shot!

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