Can Cuckoos Feel Love for Their Young? A Surprising Fact



  • Cuckoos don’t have feelings of love for their young ones.
  • Cuckoos are lazy birds and don’t raise their offspring.
  • Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

It is commonly believed that cuckoos cannot feel love for their young ones. In this blog post, we will explore the question: Can cuckoos feel love for their young ones?

The cuckoo is a fascinating bird. It is known for its distinctive habit of laying its eggs in the nests of other birds. But what is not so well known about the cuckoo is its capacity for love.

We will try to answer this question through scientific research and logical reasoning. So, read it further.

DO YOU KNOW? The cuckoo lays eggs in the nest of other birds and is known as a brood parasite. The cuckoo drops one of the eggs from the host parent birds and places its egg with her egg.

Can Cuckoos Feel Love for Their Young? No, they Can’t

The cuckoo has long been the subject of folklore. One of the most interesting things about cuckoos is their unique reproductive strategy.

Rather than building their nests, cuckoos will lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. The cuckoo chick will then push the other eggs out of the nest, leaving it as the sole occupant.

Can cuckoos feel love for their young? While They abandon their eggs and foster parents raise them.

Many birds have been observed raising their offspring, but the young cuckoo does not grow up with its parents. Instead, it is fed by the foster parents who take care of them for some time.

When they grow up, it flies away to find another nest where they can lay their eggs. This is known as desertion by the young cuckoo.

Some biologists think that cuckoos are able to recognize their own young because they have a special way of recognizing themselves in photographs or videos (called self-recognition).

Others think that desertion is due to instincts that make a mother want to leave her young behind. The recognition is somehow different from feelings of love. Certainly, cuckoos don’t have feelings of love for their young ones.

Why Don’t Cuckoos Raise Their Young Ones? They Don’t Love

Cuckoos are a group of birds that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. They are very common, with about 300 species in about 50 genera.

Cuckoos are considered lazy but clever birds. Some humans are also called cuckoo people who have weak intellect, are foolish or crazy like a cuckoo.

The main reason cuckoos do not raise their young is that they are incapable of caring for them. They don’t want to share their food with others.

Cuckoos can’t produce their food like other birds, so they must find another species to feed them when they hatch.

Some cuckoos like fruits while others are worm eaters. Baby cuckoos need a large amount of protein in their diet. Protein is necessary to grow them.

This behavior may seem cold and heartless. But this instinct of cuckoos to lay their eggs in others’ nests cannot be linked to laziness, negativity or evil. It is based on the survival of the fittest theory proposed by Darwin.

Do Cuckoo Birds Ever Raise their Babies?

It’s a common misconception that all cuckoos are brood parasitic. Some, like the Eurasian Cuckoo, raise their young — but only after they have laid their own eggs in another bird’s nest.

In some cases, where there is a shortage of suitable hosts, cuckoos will raise their young instead.

The Eurasian Cuckoo is one of the most widespread birds in Europe and Asia. It’s known for its ability to lay eggs in other birds’ nests and then sit on them until they hatch.

Charles Darwin in his book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or The Preservation” wrote that;

The European Cuckoo has not utterly lost all maternal love and care for her own offspring. He admits, however, that the young cuckoo when grown older and stronger may have the power, and perhaps the instinct, of ejecting its foster brothers, if they happen to escape starvation during the first few days after birth.

Charles Darwin

Why Does Cuckoo Lay Their Eggs in Other Nests? Don’t Feel Love

Cuckoo – the lazy bird not only lays their eggs in the nest of some other birds but also abandons their chicks completely. They don’t take care of them.

The cuckoos have the ability to mimic the color of eggs of certain birds. This way, the host birds don’t recognize the cuckoo’s eggs and raise them.

Cuckoos don’t build their nests but want the survival of their species. Therefore, they leave their eggs in other nests.

The host don't recognize the cuckoos eggs and raise them

Some scientists have proposed that this behavior may be an adaptation to ensure that their chicks have enough food during times of scarcity.

But it is not clearly known whether cuckoos will check upon their eggs after leaving them in someone’s nest or not.


There is no clear scientific evidence that cuckoos love their young ones and have feelings of love. Cuckoos are believed to be freedom-lovers who sing in their melodious voice alone.

They don’t build nests and don’t take responsibility for their offspring. Logically, it is considered that cuckoos don’t feel love for their young.

What do you think about it? Can cuckoos feel love for their young or not? Share your opinion with us in the comment section.


  1. WHY DO SOME BIRDS LAY THEIR EGGS IN OTHER BIRD’S NESTS? by Sarah, Javad, Larissa, Upinder
  2. How do cuckoos know they are cuckoos? by ABC Science
  3. Rajabioun, R. (2011). Cuckoo Optimization Algorithm. Applied Soft Computing, 11(8), 5508-5518.
  4. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin
  5. Davies, N. B. (2011). Cuckoo adaptations: trickery and tuning. Journal of Zoology, 284(1), 1-14.

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