ROADRUNNERS AND OTHER CUCKOOS by Aline Amon

ROADRUNNERS AND OTHER CUCKOOS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Among the ""other cuckoos"" are the ""common"" ones who drop their eggs in other birds' nests, are ""as unfaithful partners as they are parents,"" murder their adoptive siblings with impunity--and prompt from Amon a general discussion of brood parasites, how they might have developed, and how they get away with it. Still other subfamilies build their own nests, preferably in areas of vigorous insect infestation. Some, the ""amiable anis,"" do so communally, with perhaps five adults and 30 eggs crowded together and many casualties among the young. Occasionally giving in to terms like ""promiscuous"" and ""gallant,"" but never to the point of obscuring the issue at hand, Amon describes several subfamilies and a few species of each--citing observers' accounts of remarkable behavior, pointing out the survival value of various habits, noting how the classification of odd ones was established or how recent findings might pertain to still-open questions about the birds' evolution. Intelligent coverage, followed by a brief, diverting review of cuckoo lore.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1978
Publisher: Atheneum