As the bird of 2024, the Estonian Ornithological Society chose the cuckoo, a species that is better known in folklore than in terms of its biology or ecological function.
The cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a widely distributed avian species in Estonia. Even though the cuckoo is a relatively well known species, as evidenced by the abundant folklore heritage, it has never been specifically studied in Estonia, nor has its biology been studied in detail. By designating the cuckoo as the bird of the year, many studies will be advanced substantially, including the investigation of its reproductive biology and migration and the documentation and explanation of its ecological relationships.
As the cuckoo can be easier heard than seen, there are few good pictures of it. To that purpose, the Ornithological Society has begun collecting cuckoo photographs in order to have enough images to illustrate the Year's Birds website and other materials. Nature enthusiasts and photographers who have captured a cuckoo can send their images to the society's photo bank.
The Estonian Ornithological Society has been selecting the bird of the year since 1995, and the cuckoo is the 30th. The Bird of the Year initiative's purpose is to educate the public about a bird species or group of species found in Estonia, as well as to involve nature enthusiasts in the study and protection of the chosen species.
Editor: Jaan-Juhan Oidermaa, Kristina Kersa