Tracking Cuckoos to Africa... and back again

The 'Red Listed' Cuckoo is one of the UK's fastest declining migrants and, until recently, was one of which we knew least about once it left the UK. 

In 2011 we attached satellite-tracking devices to Cuckoos from Norfolk to find out more about their important stop-over sites and wintering destinations on the way to and from Africa. Since then we have been able to expand the project thanks to support from funders and sponsors. Read more about the project and find out what we have learnt so far.

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Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2013 to 23 April 2014

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Latest News

Derek crosses the desert - 22 Apr 2014

Derek was still in Ivory Coast on the 14 April but the next good signal we received on the 21 April showed that he had been busy during that time, having crossed the Sahara desert and reached the Atlas Mountains in Algeria. He leaves behind Ken, who is the only tagged Cuckoo now with a desert crossing ahead of him. 

Patch crosses desert and makes it to Spain - 22 Apr 2014

Patch was still in Senegal on 16 April but by the evening of the late afternoon of 17 April he was in Morocco in the southern region of Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira, part of the Western Sahara. From this westerly point, he changed direction and headed a further 1000km in a north-easterly direction (620 miles), flying over western Algeria by midday on 18 April and then heading north, towards the Middle Atlas mountains, and back in to Morocco by the morning of 19 April.

There must have been little time to rest as by morning on 21 April he was already 780km (485 miles) further north, having crossed the Mediteranean Sea to reach Valencia, Spain. In the five days since leaving Senegal, he covered at least 3440km (2140 miles)!

David heads to the Atlas Mountains - 22 Apr 2014

David has crossed the desert from his very westerly position near Dakar. Signals received on the late afternoon of  18 April showed he was mid-crossing, 1560km (990 miles) from his previous location, and in Morocco in the southern half of the region of Guelmin-Es Semara which forms part of the Western Sahara.  He continued on a further 1000km (624 miles) and by evening on 20 April he was in northern Morocco in the Middle Atlas, part of the Atlas mountain range. 

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Funds raised will help support work tracking Cuckoos as part of the Out of Africa appeal.

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Please contact cuckoos [at] bto [dot] org for further details.

Information on this page is only for illustrative purposes and cannot be used without our permission © British Trust for Ornithology 2014.