Cuckoo: (Heb. shahaph), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This bird
is mentioned only in
(Leviticus 11:16; Deuteronomy 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
Palestine. The Arabs suppose it to utter the cry Yakub, and hence
they call it tir el-Yakub; i.e., "Jacob's bird."