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Can you hear the cuckoo calling yet?

10th April 2020

While staying at home due to COVID-19, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council would appreciate your help to listen out for the call of the cuckoo close to you this Spring.

While spending time in your garden or taking exercise outside your home, we want people to report when and where they hear the cuckoo call to CEDaR by logging on to http://www2.habitas.org.uk/records/submit-cuckoo-record.

In previous years the earliest it has been heard was the 6th of AprilMany people symbolise the call of the cuckoo as the true beginning of spring, however the calls have faded in recent years due to decline in numbers.

CEDaR needs vital information such as where you hear or see it, what type of habitat you hear it in, and the dates you hear the cuckoo call.  This information will then be used to build up a picture of when the cuckoo first arrives in Fermanagh and Omagh and where it lives whilst it’s here.

Every year people often think they’ve already heard the cuckoo before April, mistaking it for collared doves or wood pigeons.  You can track some cuckoos as they return here from Africa by following the British Trust for Ornithology BTO project, cuckoo tracking https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/cuckoo-tracking-project.

The cuckoo lives a fascinating lifestyle, where other birds will create their own nesting space to hatch eggs, the cunning cuckoo will swoop in and lay their eggs in other birds’ nests such as meadow pipits and dunnocks. The cuckoo chicks will hatch first and ultimately bully the other chicks out of their own nests.

We encourage everyone to report their sightings or records of not only cuckoos but also any species of interest they see close to home, such as red squirrels, moorland birds, bumblebees or butterflies by following the link on the https://www2.habitas.org.uk/records/home.

For more information on biodiversity in the local area contact the biodiversity officer in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council at biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com.