The cuckoo is a slim, medium-sized bird with a long rounded tail and pointed wings. The male is grey above and on the breast, and barred below. The female can be grey or reddish above with a barred belly, breast and throat. It resembles the sparrowhawk in flight.
The cuckoo adapts easily to different habitats, including all types of woodland, farmland, alpine terrain and coastal heath. It can be found across Europe.
The cuckoo eats mainly caterpillars. It is known as a brood host, that is, the females lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. The host bird then incubates the egg, and when the cuckoo chick hatches it ejects the other eggs and chicks from the nest.