CUCKOO

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Cuck­oos start to ar­rive in good num­bers in April and in May are at their peak of singing and so at their most no­tice­able. They are shy birds, much more of­ten heard than seen. It is not that they sing from deep within veg­e­ta­tion, of­ten pre­fer­ring to use ex­posed perches on the top of trees or on tele­graph poles and lines and along fence lines. It is just that they are very wary of hu­mans. Also, they are, by na­ture, rather in­di­vid­ual birds, usu­ally seen singly, which helps make see­ing a Cuckoo a far from ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence. Many peo­ple, even bird­watch­ers, are not al­ways aware that they have seen a Cuckoo, when one flies by. They look like some­thing be­tween a Kestrel and a skinny dove, whizzing along on flap­ping wings which don’t ap­pear to rise above the hor­i­zon­tal. Sexes are sim­i­lar, but there is an un­com­mon red-morph of the fe­male; like a speck­led ju­ve­nile but in a glo­ri­ous ru­fous colour.

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