TERMÉSZET – Verébmama hatalmas kakukkfiókát nevel

A kakukk ötször nagyobb, mint mamája, a veréb mégis fáradhatatlanul eteti őt. Megdöbbentő történet, szószedettel.

If you’ve ever felt the pressure of keeping your family fed, spare a thought for this harassed hedge sparrow. Having raised a cuckoo as its own, the tiny foster parent is still having to feed the giant chick even though it has fledged and left the nest. Which means climbing up the cuckoo’s back to reach its ever-open beak and deposit a grub or other tasty morsel.

The extraordinary scene was captured by retired engineer Mike Stuckey, 64, in the garden of his home in Halstock, Somerset. The cuckoo, which had left the ‘mother’ sparrow’s nest, began appearing in trees and plant pots around the garden and continued to ‘squeak’ for its food. The tiny brown foster mother would then pop down with a grub or a worm for the greedy youngster – before climbing up its back in order to feed it.

Father-of-two Mike said: “I’d seen them for some time and I had wanted to get a picture but the hedge sparrow is a very shy bird. I could hear the cuckoo calling, squeaking away, and by chance it was right there, in a flower pot by the kitchen. The sparrow would disappear off for about five minutes, returning briefly to pass over what it had found before going off scavenging again, so there was quite a lot of waiting around on my part. It was pure chance that they came up so close. I had the camera there by the window because the previous night I’d been trying to get a picture of the cuckoo outside. I was hoping to get a better shot, but I’ve had a look on the internet and it doesn’t seem like many other people have managed to catch feeding in action, so I’m pretty pleased.”

Cuckoos are brood parasites, pushing the eggs out of another bird’s nest, particularly those of meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers, and laying one of their own. When the egg hatches the mother bird assumes the offspring is one of its own and proceeds to rear the cuckoo, often to the point of exhaustion.

Mike added: “I love gardens and birds and I often take pictures of them at our bird feeders, but this is the most interesting one I’ve ever seen. The cuckoo has now disappeared, probably to the huge relief of its foster mother.”

Daily Mail

harassed – zaklatott
hedge – sövény
to foster – táplál
beak – csőr
to deposit – letesz
grub – lárva
morsel – morzsa
to squeak – sír, csipog, nyüszít
greedy – falánk, mohó
brood – fészekalja, költés
pipit – parlagi pipiske
dunnock – havasi szürkebegy
warbler – poszáta
offspring – utódok

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