The British Trust for Ornithology

CUCKOO
Cuculus canorus

Cuckoo © Tommy Holden
Conservation Listings

Unlisted/Green
Biodiversity Steering Group: Unlisted

Long term trend
UK: Moderate decline
Woodland: Rapid decline
Status Summary
The CBC shows Cuckoo abundance to have been in decline since the early 1980s. CBC methods may not be the most suitable for monitoring Cuckoos because of their large territories and use of habitats that the CBC does not cover well (such as wetland: Marchant et al. 1990). However, the BBS is not subject to these biases and shows a continuing decline, especially in England. Cuckoo abundance may have fallen because the populations of key host species such as Dunnock and Meadow Pipit have declined (Brooke & Davies 1987).
Table of population changes for Cuckoo
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 31 1968-1999 104 -34 -49 -10 >25  
  25 1974-1999 108 -31 -44 -13 >25  
  10 1989-1999 90 -21 -32 -8    
  5 1994-1999 84 -14 -24 -2    
CBC farmland 31 1968-1999 49 -24 -43 1    
  25 1974-1999 50 -26 -45 -2 >25  
  10 1989-1999 46 -21 -35 -6    
  5 1994-1999 42 -15 -31 -2    
CBC woodland 31 1968-1999 35 -60 -75 -37 >50  
  25 1974-1999 37 -57 -73 -33 >50  
  10 1989-1999 32 -26 -46 -6 >25  
  5 1994-1999 30 -17 -36 7    
BBS UK 6 1994-2000 749 -19 -26 -12    
BBS England 6 1994-2000 611 -31 -37 -24 (>25)  
BBS Scotland 6 1994-2000 67 38 1 88    
BBS Wales 6 1994-2000 54 -11 -36 24    
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
Productivity information is not currently available for this species




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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Leech, D.I., Marchant, J.H.,
Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Simpkin, A.P., Thewlis, R.M. and Wernham, C.V.
(2002) Breeding Birds in the Wider
Countryside: their conservation status 2001. BTO Research Report No. 278. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

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