Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus


The Cuckoo is a dove-sized bird with blue grey upper parts, head and chest with dark barred white under parts. With their sleek body, long tail and pointed wings they are not unlike Kestrels or Sparrowhawks. Sexes are similar and the young are brown.

Identification difficulty
When to see it

Adults arrive in late March or April and depart in July or August, with young birds leaving a month or so later.

Life History

Well-known brood parasites, the females laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, especially Meadow Pipits, Dunnocks and Reed Warblers. The adults return to Africa before their young have fledged.

UK Status

Cuckoos can be seen throughout Britain, but are more numerous in southern and central England. Their recent population decline makes this a Red List species.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map