Male cuckoo by Nick Appleton 1/10
Cuckoo at Thurne Dyke by Elizabeth Dack 2/10
Male cuckoo with drinker moth caterpillar by Nick Goodrum 3/10
Juvenile cuckoo at Swafield by Julian Thomas 4/10
Cuckoo at Hickling by Nick Goodrum 5/10
Cuckoo at Hockwold by Julian Thomas 6/10
Juvenile cuckoo by Nick Appleton 7/10
Female cuckoo by Nick Appleton 8/10
Cuckoo by Elizabeth Dack 9/10
Cuckoo by Nick Appleton 10/10

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus

The cuckoo, with its unmistakeable call in springtime and its parasitic breeding behaviour, is one of our most fascinating summer migrants.

Conservation status

According to the British Trust for Ornithology cuckoo numbers since the early 1980s have dropped by 65%. The decline of the cuckoo is not fully understood but one theory is it may be due in part to the decline in the small birds, such as dunnocks and reed warblers, it uses as hosts for its own eggs.

Related questions & advice

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Did you know? The name cuckoo is onomatopoeic, which means that it is taken from the birds call, but it is only the male that makes the cuckoo sound.

To lay its egg, the female cuckoo removes the hosts eggs, gets onto the rim of the nest and "squirts" the egg into the nest, which will also mimic the hosts egg in colour!

The female cuckoo call is supposed to resemble the sound of bath water running out when the plug is pulled.
Each season a female will lay between 12 and 22 eggs. Each egg will be laid in a different nest.
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