Cuckoo Tracking Project

Help us track Cuckoos and learn even more about their epic migration

We’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos since 2011. We’ve learned lots of vital information, such as how the different migration routes are linked to declines, and some of the pressures Cuckoos face whilst on migration, but there is still much more to discover.

An important aspect of this project is how it helps us improve our understanding of why Cuckoo are in decline:

  • Since 1995, the number of Cuckoos has decreased by over 30%.
  • The Cuckoo is currently Red-listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in the UK.

Our Cuckoo Tracking Project is vital and it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsors.

Sponsor a Cuckoo

​What’s next

We now need to look more closely at how dependent Cuckoos are on, and how much their migration is linked to, the drought-busting rains of the weather frontal system known as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as they move out of the Congo rainforest and begin to head back to the UK via West Africa.

Watch the Cuckoos migrate on our map

Each Cuckoo’s tag sends us location data approximately every day, so we can follow them and learn more about their migration.

Time / skill required

  • Spend as much time as you like following each Cuckoo's migration on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.
  • No technical skills are required to support this project - just a love of Cuckoos.

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2024 to 24 July 2024

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Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
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Current Cuckoos

Cleeve

ID: 262930
Status: active
Cuach Cores. Cores

Cuach Cores

ID: 242386
Status: active
Cuach Torc. Torc

Cuach Torc

ID: 242384
Status: active
Cuthbert, tagged Cuckoo, 2024 cohort / BTO

Cuthbert

ID: 262937
Status: active

George 2

ID: 262934
Status: active

Hafren

ID: 262938
Status: active

Henry

ID: 262933
Status: active
Joe, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232670 Joe

Joe

ID: 232670
Status: active
KP. KP

KP

ID: 242388
Status: active

MacSporran

ID: 262931
Status: deceased

Nick 2

ID: 262928
Status: active
Sayaan. Sayaan

Sayaan

ID: 242502
Status: active

Severn

ID: 262932
Status: active
Trent Trent

Trent

ID: 242383
Status: active
Wilfred, tagged Cuckoo, 2024 cohort / BTO

Wilfrid

ID: 262936
Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Hafren makes for the Maghreb

24 Jul 2024

Hafren has now left Spain and is making his way south along the North African coast.

His route saw him setting off across the sea, leaving the Spanish mainland west of the famous Doñana National Park, before arriving on the Moroccan coast just to the north of the city of Agadir.

At 7.36 this morning, we received a signal showing that he was close to the Western Sahara border. In the last 48 hours Hafren has covered around 1,220 km (758 miles).

Henry’s Hamburg detour

24 Jul 2024

Henry, if the satellite information is accurate (and there’s no reason for us to assume that it isn’t), is behaving rather oddly… following his 12-day stay just to the south-west of Paris, he finally set off, but instead of heading south he took off to the north, towards Germany!

Two days ago he passed Cologne and continued to fly northwards. He then bypassed Bremen and cracked on towards Hamburg, before veering west, and at 7.56 this morning (24) we received a signal to say that he was just north of the North Sea port city of Bremerhaven!   

In summary, Henry appears to have flown approximately 960 km (596 miles) in the wrong direction. Hopefully, he will soon reorientate and head south after his surprising German tour.

Sayaan hits the Sahel

24 Jul 2024

Since our last update, when Sayaan was in the Jalo oasis area of northern Libya, he has flown a further 1,766 km (1,097 miles) across the desert and is currently in east Chad.

He has reached the Sahel region, where he can hopefully rest and feed a little before continuing south. At 8.03 this morning (24 July) he was close to the western border of Sudan and just north of the city of Abéché, the fourth largest city in Chad.

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
Email Contact:
cuckoos@bto.org

Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • 5/11 - First round of five Cuckoos tagged, wintering sites in the Congo identified 
  • 3/12 - Different routes discovered on return journeys
  • 2016 - First scientific paper published on on the routes of our Cuckoos