By in Animals

Where are the cuckoos?

Has anyone heard a cuckoo yet this year?

According to the old rhyme:

The cuckoo comes in April

In May he sings all day

At the end of June he changes his tune

In July he flies away.

There is also the tradition that cuckoos arrive around the same time as the cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis, also known as Lady’s smock) comes into flower, and the last few years I have noticed both at the same time. But last week in Pembrokeshire I saw lots of cuckoo flowers, but no sound of a cuckoo, and now we’re home there’s still nothing even though I know there is suitable habitat nearby because I have heard cuckoos there every year. Has something happened to them I wonder? Recent tracking experiments have revealed the arduous journeys cuckoos, like many other migrants, have to make every year so there is plenty of scope for something to befall them on their way. Or perhaps things have just got out of synch this year. Has anyone else heard their local cuckoo?

Image Credit » copyright Fleur 2015

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


MelissaE wrote on April 16, 2015, 7:15 AM

Cuckoo's must be unique to Great Britain. I've never heard of them as real birds.

Fleur wrote on April 16, 2015, 9:08 AM

That's interesting, what have you heard about them?

wolfgirl569 wrote on April 16, 2015, 9:29 AM

We dont have them here but all our local birds are back now

Kasman wrote on April 16, 2015, 4:37 PM

None yet but I'm sure the will be here soon.

MelissaE wrote on April 16, 2015, 5:48 PM

I just thought that was something that you called silly folk or the clocks.

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 17, 2015, 4:46 AM

We hardly hear the cuckoo in our city .Over here it is the very time the farmers seed their fields when the cuckoo sings .The azalea is named after cuckoo in Chinese .It is said that cuckoo lays eggs in other sorts of birds 'nests and lets them hatch them .

agvulpes wrote on April 17, 2015, 9:23 AM

Strange you should ask the question right now! The other day while on my daily walk along the river I notice a 'new for me' bird and took a photo! When I got back and checked in my book I found it was a Cuckoo! I have never noticed one before :)

Fleur wrote on April 17, 2015, 3:33 PM

Yes they do lay in other birds' nests, the females are very cunning and very quick to sneak in there and deposit an egg, and as soon as the baby cuckoo hatches it pushes all the other eggs in the nest and even any other baby birds out of the nest so it has no rivals.

Fleur wrote on April 17, 2015, 3:33 PM

Good to hear that there is one in your area at least! have never managed to actually see one, only hear them.

agvulpes wrote on April 17, 2015, 10:24 PM

I'm not sure if I have heard a Cuckoo as the bird I saw did not make a sound! What sort of sound does the Cuckoo make ?

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 18, 2015, 2:54 AM

It is rather high-handed for the baby cuckoo to drive other baby birds out of their nest .Not come singly but in pairs ,it is said that turtledoves are unable to build nests,they always forcibly occupy the magpies'nests .

Fleur wrote on April 18, 2015, 4:43 AM

It simply says its name over and over! Have a look at the RSPB site, there's also a recording:

Fleur wrote on April 18, 2015, 4:44 AM

That's interesting; I have never heard that about turtle doves, I'll have to look into it!

agvulpes wrote on April 18, 2015, 7:05 AM

Thanks for the great reference link I have bookmarked it for future ! I don't remember hearing the bird although I have heard many Cuckoo clocks lol