The Harrier

Subtitle: The newsletter of Devon Birds

Recording Cuckoos


In order to identify possible Cuckoo strongholds, and inform conservation measures, we first need to build up a good understanding of the current local distributions of Cuckoos. So we would like to collect as many Cuckoo sightings in Devon as possible, from Devon Birds members and the general public, for our live map below.
If you see (or hear) a Cuckoo in Devon, please use the form on the right to report the OS grid reference (e.g. SX600700), location, date, number seen/heard and any comments (e.g. two males calling in same area at Hangerdown) plus your name and email address for our records. Items on the form in bold text must be entered, others are optional.
Don’t know the grid reference? Try the UK Grid Reference Finder. Or if you have a smartphone, search your App Store for apps to give you the grid reference for your current location.
We especially encourage records of:
 Cuckoos on remote Dartmoor sites – In previous years, most Cuckoos were reported from areas close to roads. To build up a comprehensive map of Dartmoor Cuckoos, we especially encourage sightings from Cuckoos heard or seen at more remote locations.
 Cuckoos outside Dartmoor National Park – Cuckoos are declining much faster in Lowland areas. Any information on Cuckoo soundings or sightings outside Dartmoor would be extremely valuable. We encourage people to look out for Cuckoos across all of Devon.
 Cuckoos seen – Most submitted records are from people that heard a Cuckoo calling. If you have seen a Cuckoo, please record this and any other interesting information. This helps us in making better use of the data.
 Juvenile Cuckoos – We are especially interested in finding out where Cuckoos might be breeding. If you are confident you have seen a juvenile Cuckoo, please provide a detailed description of your sighting in the Additional Details box.
Submit a Cuckoo Sighting
Please go to where there is a form for submission
About This Initiative
This was set up in 2014 as part of a collaboration between Devon Birds, the University of Exeter and the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
Cuckoos in the UK have shown severe population declines; the State of the UK’s Birds 2015 report shows a decline of 46% since the mid 1990’s. In order to protect the species, it is essential to understand its ecological requirements on both a global and local scale.
Our Cuckoo sightings project aims to identify local hotspots to help build a better picture of habitat requirements and Cuckoo strongholds across Devon.
Although all sightings contribute to a better understanding of local Cuckoo distributions, we are particularly interested in sightings of female and juvenile Cuckoos, as this can help us identify breeding sites of particular conservation importance.
We would also like to encourage people to look out for Cuckoos outside of Dartmoor National Park and at remote Dartmoor sites away from main roads, as fewer data are available from such areas.
Over the last four years, we have collected over 2,500 records of Cuckoos seen and heard across Devon. This year we hope to further expand this valuable dataset by encouraging the public to continue submitting their sightings.

© Devon Birds 2017-2020