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Cuckoo - Cheating by nature written by Nick Davies

Published by Bloomsbury hard back 296 pages

ISBN 978 1 4088 5656 7 Price £16.99

What a fascinating book to read! Nick gives 30 years of his life to study this brilliant bird on Wickham Fen. Not only do the Reed Warblers have territories but the Cuckoo and even the researchers like Nick himself! Nick looked back at the earliest work on the Cuckoo from Ancient Greece to egg collectors of the 20th Century. Edgar Chance was certainly someone making it hard to follow with his work in the Midlands. Why was the Cuckoo laying its eggs so fast with 4 – 16 seconds recorded compared to 20 – 60 minutes for normal birds? Some birds were flying as far as 23 kilometres from the territory to feed! The battle to keep the mimicry on the side of the cuckoo and how other world cuckoos tried their way of deceiving the host keeps you reading. The sketches are the great work of James mc Cullum and there are some great colour photos in the middle of the book. This is a real read not a ‘statistics’ book and everyone should have a copy.

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