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Updates from our Cuckoos

Read the latest updates from our Cuckoos on their migration.

Saying goodbye to JD

08 Aug 2022
In our previous update, we shared with you that strong winds had carried JD 300 miles (482 km) out to sea, from the coast of Western Sahara towards the Cape Verde archipelago. Against all the odds, he made it back to the African mainland, raising hopes that this Norfolk bird's watery detour had not put an end to his journey to the Congo basin. Sadly, however, it appears that JD has perished as no further updates have been received since the last signal from his tag on 24 July, shortly after he made landfall close to the port of Nouadhibou, Mauritania’s second city. Having lost sight of land while out at sea, JD had returned the way he came. Without a ‘mental map’ to follow, he couldn’t have known that flying due East would have meant a considerably shorter journey and perhaps a better chance of survival. As it is, JD’s energy reserves appear to have been exhausted, sadly leaving him unable to find food or, perhaps, at greater risk of predation. No matter how long we are able to follow each Cuckoo, the data they provide contributes to our growing understanding of these remarkable birds and how we can work to protect them – JD and his adventures are no exception.

JD is all at sea

25 Jul 2022
Since our last update JD has left Morocco and flown approximately 1,872km (1,163 miles) south west to north west Mauritania. However, having reached the city of Nouadhibou it seems that strong easterly winds carried him out to sea. By 19:33 on Saturday evening he was almost 300 miles out over the sea south west of Nouadhibou and heading towards Cape Verde.  He then appears to have done a u-turn and by Sunday morning had flown the 300 miles back to Nouadhibou where he remained for the rest of the day. He is currently approximately 600 miles north west of Cuckoo Bluey who has completed his desert crossing and is in Senegal. Hopefully this detour hasn't depleted all of JD's reserves and he will be able to complete his desert crossing in the next few days.

JD reaches Africa

19 Jul 2022
Having spent the last few weeks in northern Spain, Norfolk Cuckoo JD has flown 959km (596 miles) south west, crossing the Mediterranean and arriving in north Africa. New updates received between 07:00 and 10:00 this morning showed that he was o some farmland in the northern part of the Sidi Kacem Province, approximately 120km south of Tangier.  

JD moves north

27 Jun 2022
JD has flown 43km (27 miles) north east from his last location in the hills above Zuera in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon in north eastern Spain to a new location on some farmland 6km north west of the city of Huesca in Aragon. 

JD crosses into Spain

23 Jun 2022
New updates received at around lunchtime today show that JD has crossed the Pyrenees and is now in northern Spain. He is in the Castejón Mountains in the Cinco Villas comarca, Aragon, Spain, approximately 30 km (19 mi) north of Zaragoza.

Introducing JD

13 Jun 2022
JD was ringed at Cranwich in Norfolk, a site where BTO staff and volunteers try to monitor all the Reed warblers, JD's host species, so quite a few of his progeny will be ringed and monitored. We placed a net along the track, and after a short wait he came flying down the track and got caught in the net. On a CES ringing session on 11/06/2022 he was seen flying around the netting area calling to the female, so has been a regular at Cranwich since being tagged.We have targeted birds from this area to boost our sample of East Anglian birds. Cranwich Heath is approximately 10 miles north of BTO HQ at Thetford. JD and Joe will be the sixth and seventh Cuckoos to be tracked from this area, following Attenborough, Tennyson, Thomas, Sylvester and Stanley. These birds have typically taken the easterly route south to Africa. JD was named by his tag funder John Davis.


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