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 2019 to 27 May 2020

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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
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker

PJ

Status: active
Senan the Cuckoo Senan the Cuckoo

Senan

Status: active
Tennyson the Cuckoo Tennyson the Cuckoo

Tennyson

Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo

Valentine

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Local movements from Carlton II, PJ and Valentine

26 May 2020
Carlton II, PJ and Valentine are all busy flying around their breeding locations, with the odd possible feeding excursion elsewhere, in areas that might be better for their caterpillar food. Right now they will be chasing and mating with female Cuckoos (all our tagged birds are males).

Tennyson and Senan likely to be lost to us

26 May 2020

We've previously reported that Senan's tag battery has been low for a while and not charging properly. After a long period of silence, we were pleased to receive the locations from Algeria, and later from Spain, to show he was migrating. However, with no further signals since the 5 May, it looks like we may finally have lost contact with him. Similarly, Tennyson's battery has also experienced charging issues and we had hoped we would receive signals at some point during his northward movements, when the solar panel was exposed to longer periods of sunshine. However, we've not heard from his tag since early April. In both these cases it appears we have lost the tag signal rather than the bird and we hope both these Cuckoos return to the UK safely - even if it's unlikely we'll be able to update you. Do keep your eyes peeled if you are on the Norfolk/Suffolk border though!

Senan in Spain

04 May 2020
A series of new updates received from Senan's tag over the weekend show that he has crossed the Mediterranean, flying 610 km (380 miles) north from Algeria to Spain. He is now in the province of Cuenca, Castile-La Mancha, in eastern central Spain. As we have reported before, we think Senan's tag may stop transmitting any day so we are delighted to receive another update and will be keeping our fingers crossed that he will check in again over the next few days. 

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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