The Surprising Animals Who Say Their Own Names

Or why the Kittiwake and the Zyzzyx won’t stop talking about themselves.

Jack Shepherd
Cellar Door
Published in
4 min readJan 9, 2024

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A Perch of Birds, by Hector Giacomelli

Everyone knows that a Cuckoo says “cuckoo.” It’s the least interesting thing about the cuckoo, which lays its egg in the nests of other birds to outsource the hard work of parenting, and in fact was almost certainly a clever ploy by this wicked animal to avoid…

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Jack Shepherd
Cellar Door

I have a newsletter about crossword puzzles and a podcast about rom-coms. Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail