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.

Time / skill required

  • It takes minutes to support the project - check back regularly to keep up to date.
  • Enthusiasm to support and share the project.

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2018 to 22 May 2019

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

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

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Latest News

Raymond returns!

- 22 May 2019
Finally at 20:59 last night we received an update showing that Raymond had flown the final 198 miles from northern France back across the Channel to the Knepp Estate in Sussex. All three birds tagged at Knepp last year have now successfully completed their migrations to Africa and back again.

Bonjour Raymond!

- 10 May 2019
Sussex Cuckoos Knepp and Raymond have already made it back to the Knepp Estate where they were tagged last year. Arriving fashionably late to the party, we hope, will be the third Sussex Cuckoo, Raymond. Also tagged on the Knepp Estate, Raymond spent the winter in Congo, approximately 750 Km (466 miles) north of Lambert and Knepp. Since crossing the Sahara Raymond has been making steady progress north. Over the last few days he has flown 555 Km (345 miles) north east from La Higuera in the province of Avila, Castile & Leon in Spain and is now near Lencouacq in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in south-western France. He now has just 766 Km (476 miles) of his 14,000 Km (8,700 miles) journey to go until he is also back at Knepp.

Lambert is back

- 08 May 2019
An update received from Lambert's tag at 04:50 this morning showed that Lambert had succesfully covered the remaining 498 Km (309 miles) from his last location near Mazieres-en-Gatine in west central France to his breeding grounds in Sussex. Lambert is one of three Cuckoos tagged on the Knepp Estate.