So much has been written on the subject of the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) that one might suppose nothing more remains to be recorded; yet the following notes, based on observations of this species in the Northwestern Himalayas, may be of interest to the readersIn the North-Western Himalayas this bird arrives at its breeding grounds about the middle of April, and from the middle of this month to the middle of June its familiar call is a common sound on the hill-sides ; but once the middle of the month is past it gradually decreases. The latest record I have is July 13th. During the time that the call is uttered, I have noticed that the body is by no means invariably held in the horizontal position with which we are most of us familiar. On the contrary, it sometimes assumes a semi-upright attitude. Further, I have noticed that while the call is being made the body is swayed slightly from side to side, and this swaying motion is especially marked in the tail. In my experience the Cuckoo’s notes do not alter as the season advances, though the contrary is usually held to be the case. The bird is probably more vigorous at the beginning of the season, and the call may then be more prolonged. The typical tri-sj^llabic call is, I believe, entirely connected with the proximity of the female. The well-known variations of the ordinary call are as likely to be heard at the beginning as at
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BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £70,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.