Instagram | @rog_tom_hogg

African Emerald Cuckoos Are Beautiful In Their Vibrant Greens And Yellows

Green birds are usually only a step above brown birds in terms of my interest level. Not because green isn't a pretty color, but because it's usually meant to blend in and hide, not be beautiful.

Still, occasionally I stumble upon a green (or mostly green) bird that proves me wrong and is anything but boring to look at.

The African emerald cuckoo is one of those.

Instagram | @craigm2931

Between their bright yellow bellies and iridescent emerald bodies, these guys are anything but boring.

And even though they are fairly bright, they are very good at hiding from predators — and photographers.

Preferring moist forests, African emerald cuckoos can be found throughout Western and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Instagram | @jannes_birdlife

Occasionally, they will stray into urban settings, but even there, they can be hard to spot. Usually, the only way to find them is to follow the sound of their distinct four-note song.

If you know anything about cuckoos — besides the clocks — it's that they don't raise their own babies.

Instagram | @ana_verahrami

They don't even build their own nests.

Instead, they watch for good nests built by local yellow-whiskered bulbuls, bee eaters, olive bush shrikes, and puffback shrikes.

Once they see one they like, they steal the nest and toss the other birds' eggs away.

Instagram | @anthusbirding

Then the female will lay her own eggs and leave them for the other mama bird to incubate for her. Which is just plain rude.

Additionally, cuckoo babies are known to push other species' chicks out of the nests after hatching.

So yeah, these birds are kind of dicks, but they sure are pretty.

h/t: eBird, Beauty of Birds

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