How the Cuckoo Bird Rebels Through Genetics

The Cuckoo-weaver is a charming little passerine bird with a bright yellow belly, endemic to southern Africa. It is also a parasite of other species of no less charming birds, the modest Prinia, with its white belly and brown wings, and the red-faced Cisticola.

The female Cuckoo-weaver has developed an extraordinary gift for mimicking the pattern and color of her host’s eggs. It is all the more interesting that the latter, if he discovers the deception, will hasten to pierce the shell of the intruder with his beak before getting rid of it. The Cisticola has thus become particularly adept at spotting a “false”.

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