Loading... Please wait...

Overview of the Animals in Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks


Animals in the Black Forest

The Black Forest in Germany is known for its dense forestry and picturesque views. The area in southwestern Germany features pine, linden, and many trees native to the region. It is also known for being the home of the cuckoo clock. In the past, entire communities in the Black Forest worked together to build and carve cuckoo clocks by hand, and even today, a clock from the area is regarded as the best of the best in terms of quality and function.

But cuckoo clocks are not all mechanics and fine workmanship. They are also history, compassion, and childhood nostalgia. For many, they represent family and togetherness, which is why their aesthetic is just as important as their main function. Many cuckoo clock feature animals native to the Black Forest region. Each animal brings different energy and importance to each clock.

It’s guaranteed that you’ll find a cuckoo bird or two in a Black Forest cuckoo clock, but what about the other stars? Let’s take a closer look at just some of the famous cuckoo clock animals and why their presence continues to inspire clockmakers worldwide.

The Cuckoo Bird

Cuckoo bird

Contrary to popular belief, the cuckoo bird was not chosen as the symbol for all cuckoo clocks because of its popularity in the Black Forest region. Its prominence would lead people to believe that it’s a popular bird; however, the cuckoo bird is typically shy and doesn’t often travel in groups. It is its distinct call that has found a home across the globe in cuckoo clocks everywhere. In clocks featuring the cuckoo bird, the “cuckoo” is made two wooden bellows on the top of the clock forcing air out quickly, each bellow creating the “coo” and “koo” sounds.

The Eagle

Eagle cuckoo clock

The eagle most commonly featured in cuckoo clocks is the white-tailed eagle. Eagles are usually symbols of wisdom, strength, and freedom as they sit high upon the trees. These large birds tend to hunt close to the treeline. At an average of 7.2 feet, have the largest wingspan of any eagle. Even in traditional cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest region, they sit atop the casing as protectors, providers, and sometimes predators.

The Brown Bear

Brown bear coo coo clock

Perhaps one of the most popular animals to be featured in a cuckoo clock design is the brown bear. Though the brown bear is not common in Germany anymore, it is still featured heavily in modern clocks as a throwback to the quintessential whimsy of the traditional cuckoo clock design. Their presence is almost fairytale-esque. Cuckoo clocks with brown bears remain a popular choice amongst clock collectors and aficionados.

The Rabbit

Rabbits tend to symbolize innocence and wonder, which is one of many reasons why they appear on cuckoo clocks. Cuckoo clock designs are whimsical and the inclusion of a rabbit helps add to this whimsy. But wherever there is a rabbit, you will also find its predator. In fact, many cuckoo clocks show rabbits and eagles at odds with each other; the rabbit oblivious below while the eagle looms above.

The Elk

Elk in Black Forest Germany

Elk (or moose in North America) are majestic and proud creatures, and are a favorite for many fans and designers of cuckoo clocks. The intricate detail that goes into carving their antlers and stance is one reason their designs are revered. The elk cuckoo clock is a classic choice for many owners because of its allusion to strength and resilience.

The Owl

Owl bird

Age-old stories show the owl as not only the keeper of time, but also a wise governor. This is maybe the most famous reason for their inclusion in cuckoo clock designs. Owls are typically seen at the top of the cuckoo clock casing. The Black Forest region is home to multiple owl species, such as the barn owl or the great horned owl. Cuckoo clocks from the region will include either in their designs.

The Fox

Fox animal in Germany

The fox cuckoo clock is a favorite because of its sly and mysterious nature. Usually in steady pursuit of a rabbit, the fox symbolizes that fairy tale mischief that many have come to love. In the Black Forest area, red foxes either create homes in stable areas or roam freely in packs. Though they can be territorial, their free nature is what draws many a cuckoo clock owners to them.

How a Cuckoo Clock is Made

The cuckoo clock is a timeless symbol of fine artistry. From its unique carvings to its famous “cuckoo” sound, the cuckoo clock is as much decorative as it is functional. The cuckoo clock’s history and development have spanned many generations, but how a cuckoo clock is made is still considered one of the most intricate [...]

Read More »

Where to buy a Cuckoo Clock in the Black Forest

For the clock enthusiasts traveling to the Black Forest, we’ve got a list of shop suggestions, cuckoo clock attractions and tips to help you find an authentic clock at a fair price while experiencing the rich history of German clock making.Why the Black Forest? If you’re searching for a cuckoo clock on your Black Forest [...]

Read More »

German Craftsmanship: Four Gorgeous German Goods

Germany, with its distinct and refined culture, is the producer of many beautiful goods. The term German craftsmanship conjures images of careful hands molding and carving and, somehow, of the the pristine and drastic landscapes that serve as backdrops for the production of many handmade goods. Here we've selected several of our favorite products made in Germany, all [...]

Read More »

How Does a Cuckoo Clock Work

For nearly 300 years, people in the southwestern Germany region known as Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, have been crafting world-class, handmade cuckoo clocks. Although much has evolved since the 18th century, very little about how a cuckoo clock works has changed. Woodcarvers and clockmakers have preserved the art of handmade cuckoo clocks using the same mechanisms as their forbearers to produce [...]

Read More »

DIY Cuckoo Clock | Crafts for Kids

A cuckoo clock is a pendulum-regulated type of clock that creates an hourly cuckoo sound and a popping cuckoo bird. Crafting a DIY cuckoo clock can be a fun challenge that will stimulate your creative juices and can serve as an exciting do-it-yourself project to do with your kids. Though building a coo coo clock may sound a bit [...]

Read More »

​Romba Cuckoo Clocks: Combining Tradition with Innovation

There are a lot of things about the art of cuckoo clock making that haven’t changed for centuries. In fact, in order to be considered an authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock, the clock has to be made using the same mechanics, components and construction as clockmakers from the early 1700s. But that doesn’t mean nothing ever changes. Since 1894, Rombach & Haas has [...]

Read More »

10 Best Germany Travel Guides from Experienced Travel Bloggers

Germany has grown to one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and in todays information era, it’s no wonder that many of these travellers are doing their research before they head to the airport. Travel guides are one of the most valuable pieces of content someone can find when starting their research [...]

Read More »

Cuckoo Clock of the Year Award Winners - The Complete List

The Story Behind the "Cuckoo Clock of the Year" Award For more than 300 years, clockmakers in Black Forest Germany have been conserving the culture of the Black Forest cuckoo clock. The true craftsmen and women follow strict guidelines set forth by the Black Forest Clock Association to construct handmade cuckoo clocks just like clock makers did centuries ago. Also [...]

Read More »

The Best Authentic German Black Forest Cake Recipe

If you’re looking to WOW your guest at your next dinner party; this is the recipe for you!  This Black Forest Cake will not only encapsulate one’s mouth in a decadent flavor of dark chocolate, cherries, and sweet cream, but will also be a conversation starter. How The Black Forest Cake Came To Be The Black Forest (or Schwarzwald) is [...]

Read More »