A British summer wouldn't be complete without the unmistakable two-tone song of the male cuckoo. In flight this bird displays a long tail and pointed wings, resulting in it being often mistaken for a sparrow hawk. Its slender bill is ideal for eating insects, spiders, worms and centipedes. The cuckoo arrives from Africa in early spring and usually leaves in August.
Sound Archive recording: W1CDR0001375, 1960s
Illustration from The British Zoology by T.Pennant, 1766