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August 25    Scripture

Bible Animals: Cuckoo
Cuckoo in the ancient World.

Ancient Cuckoo. IT is believed that the Hebrew word which is translated " Cuckoo," in Leviticus xi. i6, and Deuteronomy xiv. 15, really means a larger and different birdósuch a bird, perhaps, as the stormy petrel. The true cuckoo is a moderate-sized bird of an ash-gray color, the belly whitish, rayed with dusky black across, and tail feathers laterally spotted with white. They are celebrated for the singular habit of depositing their eggs in the nests of insectivorous (as well as grani-, vorous) birds ; and, what is not less extraordinary, the foster parents, often of species much inferior in size, bestow as much care on the young cuckoo as on their own proper nestlings, even although the deposition of the strange egg is followed by the destruction of what≠ever others may have been in the nest. If other eggs are subse≠quently laid, and hatched with the young cuckoo, the latter is en≠dowed with the astonishing instinct, about the eighth day, of ejecting its helpless companions by insinuating itself under them, and then by a jerk casting them successively over the rim of the nest. - Animals, Birds, Insects, And Reptiles Of The Bible

Cuckoo in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Heb. shahaph), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This bird is mentioned only in Lev. 11:16 and Deut. 14:15 (R.V., "seamew"). Some have interpreted the Hebrew word by "petrel" or "shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of Syria; others think it denotes the "sea-gull" or "seamew." The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) feeds on reptiles and large insects. It is found in Asia and Africa as well as in Europe. It only passes the winter in Israel. The Arabs suppose it to utter the cry _Yakub_, and hence they call it _tir el- Yakub_; i.e., "Jacob's bird."

Cuckoo in Fausset's Bible Dictionary shachaph; Leviticus 11:16; Deuteronomy 14:15; unclean. Rather the Greek cepphus of Aristotle, a large petrel, as the Puffinus cinereus. From a root "to be slender", "light of body" like a gull, whose body is small compared with its apparent size and outspread wings; it skims the waves, seeking its food in the agitated water. Andouini's gull, abounding on the shores of Syria (Tristram), a more likely bird than the storm petrel, which is seldom seen on land.

Cuckoo in Naves Topical Bible -(A bird) -Forbidden as food Le 11:16; De 14:15

Cuckoo in Smiths Bible Dictionary Le 11:16; De 14:15 the name of some of the larger petrels which abound in the east of the Mediterranean.

Cuckoo in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE kook'-oo, kuk'-oo (shachaph; laros; Latin Cuculus canorus): The Hebrew root from which the word shachaph is derived means "to be lean" and "slender," and in older versions of the Bible was translated cuckow (cuckoo). It was mentioned twice in the Bible (Lev 11:16, and practically the same in Dt 14:15 the King James Version "cuckoo"), in the list of unclean birds. The Latin term by which we designate the bird is very similar to the Arabic, and all names for it in different countries are so nearly the same that they prove themselves based on its double cry, "cuck-oo," or the single note "kowk" or "gouk." The bird is as old as history, and interesting because the European species placed its eggs in the nests of other birds, which gave rise to much fiction concerning its habits. The European bird is a brownish gray with white bars underneath, and larger than ours, which are a beautiful olive gray, with tail feathers of irregular length touched with white, knee tufts, black or yellow bill, according to species, and beautiful sleek head and shining eyes. Our birds build their own nests, attend their young with care and are much loved for their beauty. Their food is not repulsive in any species; there never was any reason why they should have been classed among the abominations, and for these reasons scientists in search of a "lean, slender" bird of offensive diet and habit have selected the "sea-mew" (which see) which is substituted for cuckoo in the Revised Version (British and American) with good natural-history reason to sustain the change. Gene Stratton-Porter

Cuckoo in Wikipedia Cuckoo, according to some, would be the bird called in Hebrew sh‚h‚ph (Leviticus 11:16; Deuteronomy 14:15), and there reckoned among the unclean birds. Two species, the cuculus canorus, and the oxylophus glandarius live in the Holy Land; however there is little probability that the cuckoo is intended in the mentioned passages, where we should perhaps see the shear-water and the various species of sea-gulls.

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