The First Cuckoo

On Thursday, I heard a cuckoo calling, over on Hoe Rough. The sound was carrying a long way, and by the time I got over there with Ollie, it was really loud. I couldn’t see the bird though, they are famously elusive.

As well as providing the sound familiar in Cuckoo clocks, these birds also get other birds to rear their chicks. They lay eggs in the nests of smaller birds, and then abandon them. This leaves the unfortunate hosts rearing the large chicks, mistakenly believing them to be their own offspring.

Country folklore asserts that Spring has not arrived until you hear your first cuckoo. There are lots of examples of this online. This one is from a birdwatching website.

Heard a Cuckoo?
This iconic sound means that spring has truly arrived!

This year, I think the cuckoo might have been calling a bit too early. It is only 6 C this morning, with a cold drizzle.

Perhaps those cuckoos should go back to sleep for a couple of weeks?

46 thoughts on “The First Cuckoo

  1. K funny story.. Lol found a dead bird on my porch steps this morning and googled what it means to find dead birds on your property (this is the second time, first time it was on our grass but closer to the road) and Google said its a sign of spring… 🤔🙄 I’m thinking we’re on some mafioso’s hit list??!!! 😭

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We have such a wide variety of birds at the lake, I throughly enjoy the pelicans, eagles, hummingbirds, swallows, and ducks! Not sure I’ve seen a cuckoo but it’s possible? I absolutely love watching birds, not sure why, my Mom had the same affliction! Here’s to an early spring, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But it is supposed to be heading for summer here, Peggy. Last year in mid-May, it was 26 C and sunny. Midsummer’s Day is the 21st of June, and next week is set to get wetter and colder. 😦
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard one again this afternoon, but I still haven’t seen one. Glad to hear you got out. It is cold, wet, and miserable here! The forecast for next week is awful too. 😦
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You do have cuckoos over there, they just look different to our ones. 🙂
      (I am jealous of hummingbirds, and wish we had some in Britain.)

      ‘Yellow-billed cuckoos are common, breeding, summer residents, and are common as transients throughout Alabama. Common throughout the southeastern United States, they breed from British Columbia and Quebec south to Mexico and the Virgin Islands. They are migratory, wintering from Central America south to Argentina.’

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An excerpt from Pope on the Dole:

    “Now here’s what you need to know,” said Clarence. “In Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, you will find a dark forest, but tiny shafts of light will allow you to find your way. You won’t be able to see the treetops. They are lost in the clouds. One of the trees is for you. You will know which one it is. And on that tree is hung a cuckoo clock. Like any clock, it has the numbers one to twelve, and two hands that keep time. The key to immortality is an alliteration. The cuckoo will give you twelve chances to find the right one. There are no clues. If you find the right alliteration, the cuckoo will close its door forever, and you will return immortal. If you don’t, the cuckoo will make its thirteenth appearance, the so-called Cuckoo-de-Grâce, but he will give his voice to another bird. And that bird will announce your fate. Salvation or damnation. You’ll understand when the time comes.”

    So, if you seek immortality, forget about Hoe Rough, and make the journey to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Yellow-billed cuckoos range throughout North, Central and South America. They migrate to North America throughout the summer months, but winter in South America. They can be seen in Texas from April through November.’
      You just need to find somewhere quiet to hear them. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s not a bird I hear in my neck of the woods [probably because there isn’t much in the way of woods; rather a plethora of fields & small thickets, and the coast] so it’s mainly the usual suspects: sparrows, robins, blackbirds, skylarks, various finches, now swifts & housemartins, and the occasional pheasant. Oh, and the ubiquitous pigeons, of course! Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found this, Pit.
      ‘Yellow-billed cuckoos range throughout North, Central and South America. They migrate to North America throughout the summer months, but winter in South America. They can be seen in Texas from April through November.’
      They look different to the British one in the photo though.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We have a cuckoo living in the abandoned lemon grove across from our house and we hear him every morning. He´s been at it for almost 2 months now. I didn´t hear them in Canada so it is so cool.

    Liked by 1 person

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