Common Cuckoo

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Eurasian Cuckoo

Native Habitat

Open land


Insects, Caterpillars


Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

The Common Cuckoo is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which means it lays eggs in the nests of other bird species.

All adult males are slate-grey; the grey throat extends well down the bird's breast with a sharp demarcation to the barred underparts. The iris, orbital ring, the base of the bill and feet are yellow. Grey adult females have a pinkish-buff or buff background to the barring and neck sides, and sometimes small rufous spots on the median and greater coverts and the outer webs of the secondary feathers.

Regional Names
  • French:
    Coucou gris
Media Gallery

Cuculus canorus

Quick Facts
  • An adult Cuckoo mimics sparrowhawk, giving female time to lay eggs parasitically.