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Named by sponsor Gillian Wills in honour of Sir David Attenborough, with his charm, enthusiasm, and ability to communicate his inspirational knowledge and sense of awe at the natural world.

Attenborough the Cuckoo
Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 05:15
Tagging Location:
Cranwich, Norfolk, England
Age when found:
Over one year
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Attenborough's journey from 02 May 2022 to 19 April 2023

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Attenborough's movements

22 Aug 2021 - The end of the road for Attenborough

Norfolk Cuckoo Attenborough has been a particularly fascinating bird to follow his year as he made that extraordinary movement from Spain to Greece. Sadly though we think that route may have signaled the end for Attenborough, possible because he was unable to build up sufficient fat reserves to fuel his crossing of the Sahara. He made it as far as the Tibesti Mountains in northern Chad, where his journey ended. We don't know exactly what happened to him but those of you who have been following the project for a while may recall that this is the same area that we lost Cuckoo Chris. Attenborough's travels will of course contribute useful data to our growing understanding of Cuckoo migration.   

05 Aug 2021 - Attenborough is braving the Sahara

Between 04:02 and 08:54 yesterday morning we got several updates from Attenborough showing that he has finally left Greece and is crossing the Sahara. He has covered 1,651 Km (1,026 miles) so far and is now on the northern edge of the Tibesti mountains in southern Libya. After his extraordinary detour from Spain to Greece, it was a relief to see him on the move again. He has around 1,000Km to fly before reaching the other side of the desert, fingers crossed!

16 Jul 2021 - Attenborough's magical mystery tour

Having made it as far as Spain, we were surprised to see the next few updates from Attenborough reporting him first over the sea just west of Sicily and then from the Ionian sea approaching Greece. The most recent updates show Attenborough 10km (6.25 miles) south of the town of Kalavryta in the mountainous east-central part of the regional unit of Achaea, Greece. It is 2,115km (1,315 miles) from Attenborough's last location in Spain to his first location in Greece, we have never seen such a dramatic eastwards movement from any of our tagged Cuckoos. It will be fascinating to see what the next updates tell us about Attenborough's whereabouts! 

05 Jul 2021 - Attenborough roaming in Spain

Having flown from southern France into Spain and reached Calatayud in the Province of Zaragoza, Attenborough has been roaming around the province of Soria. He first visited Cihuela before moving further north and west to his current location close to Gomara. He is now approximately 23 km (14 miles) south east of the city of Soria. 

03 Jul 2021 - Attenborough pushes on into Spain

Attenborough only spent a few hours in southern France before pressing on over the border into Spain. He was still in France at 8pm last night but by 4:30am this morning, he was 250 km (156 miles) south of his last location. It looks as if he is making a stop near the town of Calatayud in the Sistema Ibérico mountain range in the province of Zaragoza, Spain.

Past updates from Attenborough

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