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BTO Blueline

CUCKOO
Cuculus canorus

Cuckoo © Tommy Holden
Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Amber (25-50% population decline)

Long-term trend
UK, England: moderate decline
Status summary
The CBC/BBS trend shows Cuckoo abundance to have been in decline since the early 1980s. The species has now been moved from the Green to the Amber list. The sensitivity of CBC to change in this species may have been relatively low, mainly because Cuckoo territories were typically larger than census plots (Marchant et al. 1990). BBS shows a continuing decline, however, especially in England; Scottish data indicate some increase. Cuckoo numbers may have fallen because the populations of key host species, such as Dunnock and Meadow Pipit, have declined (Brooke & Davies 1987).
CBC/BBS UK graph
Table of population changes for Cuckoo
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 256 -41 -56 -23 >25  
  25 1975-2000 309 -39 -51 -25 >25  
  10 1990-2000 564 -26 -36 -16 >25  
  5 1995-2000 846 -22 -27 -18    
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 219 -48 -60 -30 >25  
  25 1975-2000 263 -45 -57 -33 >25  
  10 1990-2000 470 -35 -43 -27 >25  
  5 1995-2000 697 -32 -36 -28 >25  
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 727 -25 -32 -18 (>25)  
BBS England 8 1994-2002 591 -47 -52 -42 (>25)  
BBS Scotland 8 1994-2002 64 30 -2 73    
BBS Wales 8 1994-2002 55 -33 -51 -6 (>25)  
BBS acknowledgement
CBC/BBS England graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
BBS Wales graph
Productivity information is not currently available for this species
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This report should be cited as:
Crick, H.Q.P., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Baillie, S.R., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2004)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2003.
BTO Research Report No. 353. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends2003)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 16 February, 2009