23 JULY 1927, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR, I think your readers may be interested in the following incident. Noticing a certain excitement amongst the birds in the garden yesterday, my wife went out to investigate the reason. She found on an evergreen holly a young cuckoo being fed with indefatigable energy by two wrens: This performance was watched at a distance of three or four feet by My wife, a friend, .and the-gardener, the principals being too busy to be disturbed by the presence of spectators. The efforts of the two wrens being apparently insufficient, a kind of community feeding was begun, the wrens being assisted in their efforts by a blue tit. The cuckoo shortly after moved to a neighbouling wall, where the process Continued, and finally left the garden. The process was described as most comic, the cuckoo being so big as to suggest swallowing its foster parents as well as the food they brought. Does this incident imply that the cuckoo was hatched by the wrens and the egg laid in their nest ? If so, how did it get out? Curi- ously enough, there is a wren's nest built in a cotoneaster on the wall within a few feet of where the incident occurred,' but we have not seen the wrens about it since the building of it took place, and the entrance is much too small for' so large' a bird to emerge from.—I am, Sir, &c., ARTHUR G. WHYTE.

Copgrove Rectory, Burton Leonard, Yorks, June 12th.