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I was delighted to hear the Cuckoo sounding off at Curracloe (Wexford) today. Now I know that, inspite of all the recent rain, there is hope of a summer. The Cuckoo is a widespread visitor to Ireland from April to August.

Its song is probably one of the most recognisable and well-known of all Irish bird species but, despite its obvious song, the Cuckoo is infrequently seen and can be mistaken for a bird of prey such as a Sparrowhawk. It survives mainly on caterpillars and other insects.

The lazy little female lays her eggs in the nest of some other bird. At the appropriate moment, she flies down to the host's nest, pushes one egg out of the nest, lays an egg and flies off.

Our Cuckoos winter in central and southern Africa. Isn't that some flight!

A children's little ditty about the Cuckoo goes:

"The Cuckoo comes in April,

She sings her song in May,

She changes her tune in the month of June

And July she flies away".