Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on May 1st 2018.
Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on May 1st 2018.
(1/250th sec at f13. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Juvenile. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on August 11th 2007.
Juvenile. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on August 11th 2007.
(Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)


L: 32 - 36 cm; WS: 54 - 60 cm

The Cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest, and dark-barred white under parts. With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings they are not unlike kestrels or sparrowhawks. The sexes are similar. The Cuckoo is a well-known brood parasite, with Dunnock, Reed Warbler and Meadow Pipit being favourite hosts.

Cuckoos can be found throughout the British Isles, but are more common in southern and central England.

A variety of habitats are used, from marshes and moorlands to woods and fields.

Adults arrive in late March or April and depart in July or August, with young birds leaving a month or so later. Birds over-winter in central Africa.

The Cuckoo is a Red list species owing to recent population declines. Between 10000 and 20000 pairs breed in Britain.


18-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (h)
06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
02-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (h)
02-Jun-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (h)
27-May-2018 : Abingdon (NE), Oxon (1)
27-May-2018 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (h)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (h)
14-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
11-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (h)
05-May-2018 : Gilfach Farm, Powys (h)
03-May-2018 : Gwenffrwd-Dinas, Ceredigion (h)
01-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
25-Apr-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
22-Apr-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (h)
19-Apr-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2h)

11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
10-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
06-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (h)
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (1+)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (h)
06-May-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
01-May-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1h)
29-Apr-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3h)
21-Apr-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1h)

05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
02-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (1)
02-Jun-2016 : Hawkhill Inclosure, Hants (1h)
01-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (1h)
28-May-2016 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (2h)
14-May-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
06-May-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
04-May-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
30-Apr-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)

19-Jun-2015 : Dunkery Hill, Somerset (1h)
01-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)
30-May-2015 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
17-May-2015 : Bentley Wood, Wilts (h)
10-May-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (3+)
04-May-2015 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (1h)
04-May-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1h)
30-Apr-2015 : Arne, Dorset (1h)
28-Apr-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (h)
27-Apr-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (h)

29-Jun-2014 : Crowle Moor, N. Lincs (h)
24-Jun-2014 : Dospat, Bulgaria (h)
23-Jun-2014 : Dospat, Bulgaria (h)
22-Jun-2014 : Plazishte, Bulgaria (h)
20-Jun-2014 : nr Dolna Kula, Bulgaria (h)
19-Jun-2014 : nr Starosel, Bulgaria (h)
19-Jun-2014 : Novo Zhelezare, Bulgaria (h)
19-Jun-2014 : Susam Reservoir, Bulgaria (h)
25-May-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
24-May-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (h)
17-May-2014 : Bentley Wood, Wilts (h)
09-May-2014 : Bwlch-y-rhiw, Ceredigion (h)
09-May-2014 : Gwenffrwd-Dinas, Ceredigion (h)
27-Apr-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2h)
26-Apr-2014 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1h)
21-Apr-2014 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (1)