CHEAT­ING BY NA­TURE

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild May -

Per­haps the ul­ti­mate spring sound, the cuckoo’s two-tone call sends shiv­ers down your spine. As it is both far-car­ry­ing and ven­tril­o­quial, if you try to pin­point the source, the par­a­sitic per­former will of­ten lead you on a merry dance. May is your best chance of a sight­ing, par­tic­u­larly of birds fly­ing be­tween perches. Males reg­u­larly pa­trol a cir­cuit of their ter­ri­tory, and their long-tailed, fal­con-like sil­hou­ette is dis­tinc­tive. Cuck­oos have de­clined in the UK by 46 per cent since the mid-1990s, so if you hear or see one, re­port it us­ing the BirdTrack app or web­site. FIND OUT MORE Lis­ten to a pro­gramme about study­ing cuck­oos in BBC Ra­dio Three’s Pri­vate Pas­sions series: www.bbc. co.uk/pro­grammes/b0902h7t

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