Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

What have the Cuckoos taught us?

When the Cuckoo Tracking Project began, we knew very little about what our breeding Cuckoos did once they left the UK for the winter months. Amost 100 tagged birds later, our new blog explores what we have learned and the questions we're still asking.

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

The Cuckoo is currently Red Listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in the UK, due to its population decline.

Since 2011 we’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos to find out why they are declining. 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 sponsors. Read 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 2022 to 06 February 2023

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Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
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Current Cuckoos

Bluey, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232673. Bluey Cuckoo Map Pin

Bluey

Status: presumed dead
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo

Calypso

Status: presumed dead
Charles, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232745. Charles Cuckoo Map Pin

Charles

Status: presumed dead
Cooper, New Forest, 2022. PTT 232672. Cooper Cuckoo Map Pin

Cooper

Status: presumed dead
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo

Daniel

Status: presumed dead
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo

Ellis

Status: active
Grove II, Wildgoose Rural Training Centre, 2022. PTT 232674. Grove II Cuckoo Map Pin

Grove II

Status: active
JAC the Cuckoo JAC the Cuckoo

JAC

Status: active
JD, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232671. JD Cuckoo Map Pin

JD

Status: presumed dead
Joe, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232670 Joe Cuckoo Map Pin

Joe

Status: active
Ripple, Strensham, 2022. PTT 232669 Ripple Cuckoo Map Pin

Ripple

Status: presumed dead
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Grove II still in Gabon?

30 Jan 2023
Grove II arrived in Gabon in early October and although he moved a few hundred km east in mid December he has remained in Gabon. We last received an update from Grove II's tag on 6 January when he was in dense rainforest in eastern Gabon. Assuming he has remained here he is currently close to the border with the Republic of the Congo, approximately 50km north of the Gabon town of Okondja. Hopefully the radio silence has been caused by the dense rainforest canopy and we will receive further updates when he emerges. This is the first year of winter tracking for Grove II.  

Joe is in the Republic of the Congo

30 Jan 2023
Joe arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in late September and remained there until 14 January when he moved west and crossed over into the Republic of the Congo. He has remained there since and is currently in the banks of the Sangha River in north eastern Republic of the Congo. As Joe was tagged in 2022, this is our first winter of tracking data for him. 

Victor II is in Gabon

30 Jan 2023
Victor II spent last winter in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo and he has done the same this winter. Last year he moved into northern Gabon on 1 Feb and he remained here until 14 March when he progressed west to Ghana. He then moved quickly to Ivory Coast where he remained until 14 April when he began his desert crossing. If he follows last year's timetable we will see Victor II moving further north in Gabon any day. 

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