Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Great Spotted Cuckoo

(Clamator glandarius)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 2020: 5-21 pairs (2007: 5-15 pairs)

Distribution pattern

With dispersed single localities at plain and hilly areas in the whole country, close to each other in the Eastern Rhodopes, the Thracian Plain, Sakar, and isolated – at Karnobat and Aytos Fields, near Burgas, at Derventa Hills, Struma River Valley, Sofia Field and Ludogorie, and along the River Danube. Most of the observations show low probability of breeding and in some cases may concern stray birds. During the breeding season closely interacts with the Corvid spices, which are its main hosts, and especially the Pica pica.

Population estimation for the period 2013 – 2020: During the period 2013-2020, the species was found in 19 squares. It was not established in seven squares, where it was observed before 2013, but is established in two new squares.

Population size in Special Protection Areas of Natura 2000: 5-10 pairs (50-100% of the population), single pairs are established in six SPAs – “Kaliakra”, “Besaparski Hills”, “Tsalapitsa Rice-fields”, “Sakar”, “Studen Kladenets”, and “Most Arda”.

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from


Breeds in sparse broad – leaved deciduous forests, in sclerophyllous scrub, and in some cases – in orchards, tree and shrub plantations; in strips of trees, shrubs, and patches of them; in towns, villages, industrial zones, including in public parks and large gardens. In many cases, these sites are located near running waters or standing fresh waters. 

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Short-term trend of population size:


Long-term trend of population size:


Short-term trend of distribution:


Long-term trend of distribution:

With non-intermittent fluctuations 


No threats have been established.

Irina Kostadinova, Stoycho Stoychev