First Cuckoo

The 14th April is St. Tiburtius Day and is traditionally when you will hear the first cuckoo, as celebrated in Rudyard Kipling’s Cuckoo Song:

Cuckoo, bring your song here!
Warrant, Act and Summons, please,
For Spring to pass along here!


The cuckoo migrates north from Africa and the date of its arrival, although traditionally the 14th April, varies in different parts of the country.

The first sighting is often in the far South West, in the Isle of Scilly and then gradually moves northwards. In recent years the cuckoo has tended to arrive on average five days earlier than usual, likely due to climate change.

On hearing the first cuckoo in spring it is traditional to pen a letter to The Times but you can also send your reports to us here - we'd love to hear from you. Just let us know when and where you heard it.

Previous years: 2018     2017     2016    2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010   

Want to learn more about cuckoos? You may be interested in the following:

Cuckoo: Cheating By Nature
Singing Toy Cuckoo
Cuckoo Call

If you've heard a cuckoo this year we'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below with details of when and where you heard it along with a message if you want.

Name: *
When did you hear the cuckoo?*
Where did you hear the cuckoo?*
Your message:

First Cuckoo Modbury 2019

Diane Ranwell wrote to tell us she heard a cuckoo twice this morning at 8:00 am in Modubry, Devon. For cuckoos to be back in the UK they would have had to have left Africa in December. We do not know of any reason why they would have left Africa so early but if anyone is able to help then please let us know. You can follow the cuckoos tagged by the BTO here.

First Cuckoo Wrangaton 2019

We have had reports from 3 people who said that they have heard cuckoos yesterday and today in Wrangaton and Chawleigh, Devon, and Penmaenmawr, North Wales. It is far too early and far too cold for cuckoos to have made their way back from Africa so what they probably heard were collared doves which often get mistaken for cuckoos at this time of year.

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