Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

Help us follow Cuckoos on migration and discover why they are in decline.

We’ve lost over half the number of Cuckoos in the UK over the last 20 years. Since 2011 we’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos to find out why. We’ve learned lots of vital information which could help us to understand our Cuckoos -  such as how the different routes taken are linked to declines, and some of the pressures they face whilst on migration. But there is still more to discover. We now need to look more closely at how dependent they 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. Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from Africa.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsorsRead more about the project and find out how you can get involved.

We have been able to share our expertise around tracking Cuckoos with other international studies, such as the Beijing Cuckoo Project.

Skill required

  • Follow our Cuckoos on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.

Cuckoo movements from 23 May 2019 to 24 June 2019

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Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
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Current Cuckoos

Carlton II the Cuckoo Carlton II the Cuckoo

Carlton II

Status: active
Knepp the Cuckoo Knepp the Cuckoo

Knepp

Status: active
Lambert the Cuckoo Lambert the Cuckoo

Lambert

Status: active

Larry

Status: active
Nussey the Cuckoo Nussey the Cuckoo

Nussey

Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker

PJ

Status: active
Raymond the Cuckoo Raymond the Cuckoo

Raymond

Status: active
Robinson the Cuckoo Robinson the Cuckoo

Robinson

Status: active
Senan the Cuckoo Senan the Cuckoo

Senan

Status: active
Tennyson the Cuckoo Tennyson the Cuckoo

Tennyson

Status: active
Thomas the Cuckoo Thomas the Cuckoo

Thomas

Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo

Valentine

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Meet the 2019 Cuckoos

25 Jun 2019

We’re delighted to introduce some new faces to the project! Catching the birds has been challenging this year with seemingly less competition for females and so less interest in the female lure used, but thanks to the persistence of our super tagging team, we do have four new male Cuckoos to introduce to you.

Three of these newly-tagged birds are already on the way, crossing the Channel and moving into France within the last few days. Take a look at the individual blogs to find out more.

Valentine joins the race

25 Jun 2019

One of two birds tagged on the BTO reserve in early June, Valentine has also set off on his southward migration. By the early evening of 23 June, Valentine was northeast of Canterbury. A couple of further poor quality transmissions indicate he carried on and embarked on crossing the English channel, just south of Folkestone, but we will have to wait for the next cycle of transmissions later today to reveal how far south he has travelled. He is the 7th of our tagged Cuckoos to start their migration. 

Thomas is off

25 Jun 2019

We didn’t have to wait long to find out as, by the 20 June, Thetford Cuckoo Thomas was on his way south! Late that evening he was flying over the English Channel, at least 110 Km (65 miles) from his tagging location. The next set of transmissions on 22 June, show he had journeyed another 695km (430 miles) and was located north of Auvergne in the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park. Not yet finished he appears to have continued southwards and by the 23 June he was close to Ales.  All-in-all he had taken a huge trip of 950km (590 miles) since the evening of the 20 June.

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

Support the project

You can help keep this important project going by either giving a donation, becoming a Cuckoo sponsor, or gifting a sponsorship to someone else. We greatly appreciate the support the project has received, allowing us to continue to monitor this endangered species.


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