(This joke has apparently been making the rounds for years, but just came my way. I hope it goes without saying that we don’t wish to offend anyone. But I wonder how many readers would have answered this question correctly…)

Mick, from Dublin, appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and towards the end of the program had already won 500,000 pounds.

“You’ve done very well so far,” said Chris Tarrant, the show’s presenter, “but for a million pounds you’ve only got one life-line left – phone a friend. Everything is riding on this question….. Will you go for it?”

“Sure,” said Mick. “I’ll have a go!”

“Which of the following birds does NOT build its own nest?”
(a) Sparrow
(b) Thrush
(c) Magpie
(d) Cuckoo

“I haven’t got a clue.” said Mick, ”so I’ll use last lifeline and phone my friend Paddy back home in Dublin .

Mick called up his mate, and told him the circumstances and repeated the question to him.

“Fookin’ hell, Mick!” cried Paddy. “Dat’s simple…… It’s a cuckoo.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m fookin’ sure.”

Mick hung up the phone and told Chris, I’ll go wit Cuckoo as my answer.”

“Is that your final answer?” asked Chris.

“Dat it is, Sir.”

There was a long – long pause, and then the presenter screamed, “Cuckoo is the correct answer! Mick, you’ve won 1 million pounds!”

The next night, Mick invited Paddy to their local pub to buy him a drink.

“Tell me, Paddy? How in Heaven’s name did you know it was da Cuckoo that doesn’t build its own nest?”

“Because he lives in a fookin’ clock!”

juvenile Common Cuckoo by Peter Walkden, used with permission

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.