Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx birdwatchers asked to listen out for cuckoos

Common cuckoo (Image:
Image caption Cuckoos are one of several migrant species declining in Britain.

A Manx Bird conservation charity has asked birdwatchers on the Isle of Man to listen out for cuckoos over the next month.

Manx BirdLife is urging anyone who hears the male's "distinct call" to contact the charity on its website.

Spokesman Mark Fitzpatrick said: "The number visiting the island has fallen dramatically in recent decades and we hope people will listen out."

Three calls were recorded on the Isle of Man over the weekend.

'Unforgettable call'

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "The familiar and unforgettable 'cuck-oo cuck-oo' call heralds their return to Europe from wintering in sub-Saharan Africa and south east Asia."

"It is usually the male Cuckoo who you can hear as he attracts a mate, the female is much quieter."

Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species including dunnocks, reed warblers and meadow pipits. The birds look like sparrow hawks and their appearance is thought to intimidate their hosts.

People can contact Manx BirdlLife through their website or on Twitter.

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