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  Scientists need help to spot cuckoos
Updated 06 March 2002, 07.16
A cuckoo
Wildlife experts are asking people to listen for the sound of cuckoos this spring.

Usually, they start singing when we get warmer days and lighter evenings.

But so far, they've been too quite and experts are worried.

Dying out?

Fact File
Cuckoo
143 species of cuckoos
Sing in mid-April
Many live in the rainforests of Australia, South America, Asia, Africa
Others, like the roadrunner, live in deserts
Roadrunners zoom along at 24km per hour!
First cuckoo clock made in 1740 by Franz Anton Ketterer
Built to stop Germans getting bored in winter

In some areas of the UK, cuckoo numbers have dropped by 60 per cent and experts think it's because of global warming.

  What's global warming?

But they need the public to help them out in a survey.

The Woodland Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology want the public to let them know when they hear one.

Woodlands, where most cuckoos find their favourite nibble - the hairy caterpillar - are being damaged by climate change.

And as more land is used up by humans, there are fewer places for the birds to nest.

Here are some other things they want you to look out for too:

  • swifts and swallows
  • spring flowers including bluebells, oxeye daisies and dog roses
  • insects, like bumble bees, queen wasps and seven spot ladybirds
Register your sightings at the Nature's Calendar website.

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Web Links
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Nature's Calendar: register sightings here
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Woodland Trust
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