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 01 May 2020 to 27 October 2020

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Current Cuckoos

Carlton II the Cuckoo Carlton II the Cuckoo

Carlton II

Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker


Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo


Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Valentine in Cameroon

16 Oct 2020
Further signals received from Valentine's tag this morning place him a further 376 km (234 miles) south east of his last location, so he is now in south eastern Cameroon, approximately 205 km (127 miles) east of the capital Yaounde. Last year he wintered in northern Angola so if he is heading to the same area he has another 1,300km to fly south before reaching his final destination. 

Is Valentine in Cameroon?

14 Oct 2020
A couple of low quality updates from Valentine's tag received during the early hours of this morning suggest that he has flown 450 km (280 miles) south east from Nigeria into Cameroon. His new location appears to be in the mountainous Adamawa region in north western Cameroon. We will have to await better quality signals before we can be certain of Valentine's location. Stay tuned!

Carlton II crosses into Benin

12 Oct 2020
After a short stop in Togo, Carlton II has pressed on east, covering a further 281 km (175 miles) and by Saturday morning (10 October) he was in eastern Benin. He has since repositioned, flying a further 39 km (24 miles) north to his current location in north-east Benin. He is now in the Foret de Goungoun, a protected area watered by the Sota, a tributary of the Niger, and containing forest and wooded savannah. 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

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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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