(Heb. shahaph), from a root meaning "to be lean; slender." This bird is mentioned only in Leviticus 11:16 and Deuteronomy 14:15 (RSV, "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."
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Cuckoo". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".