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Devon Birds and The Dartmoor National Park Authority have jointly funded four cuckoos which they have named – Whortle, Emsworthy, Meavy and Wistman.

Meavy the Cuckoo
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 01:00
Tagging Location:
Emsworthy Mire, Devon
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Meavy's journey from 16 May 2014 to 19 July 2014

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Meavy's position on
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Meavy's movements

19 Sep 2014 - Meavy fate unknown

There have been no further signals since 19 July from Meavy. Given this it is possible that we may have lost him and will not receive further news of his journey. 

04 Aug 2014 - 'Missing' Cuckoos

This year, because there are so many Cuckoos and routes to view on the map, individual birds only show by default if there has been a signal in the last 10 days.

Currently Gowk, Gilbert, Meavy, Waller and BB have all stopped being shown by default as we haven't heard from them in this period. Don't worry, it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad has happened. There are often periods where the Cuckoos are in dense undergrowth, where the tags don't receive enough light to charge or send signals to the satellites, often just before and after big movements.

You can still view these Cuckoos on the map by ticking the box underneath their pictures. Once we receive a signal, they will automatically reappear on the main map. 

17 Jul 2014 - Three complete desert crossing

Three Cuckoos are now safely across the desert, including Meavy, who had grounded and stayed in the same area for a few days. He is now in north Benin while Dudley is in Nigeria and Whortle is further to the east in Sudan. 

14 Jul 2014 - Dudley and Whortle join Meavy in Africa

On Saturday 12 July transmissions were received from both Dudley and Whortle to show they had arrived in Africa.

Dudley has cut across to Africa, from his location in Spain to Niger. Whortle, however, has taken a completely different route to last year - travelling via Italy towards Libya/Egypt! This is a real surprise as last year he went west via Spain to western Africa and then to Niger. Over 4,000km (2,500 miles) separate the two locations within Africa! How will this complete change in route affect the rest of his journey and what are the reasons behind this dramatic difference? In previous years, while we have seen some minor changes, routes have remained relatively similar. It shows that the more we learn about Cuckoos, and the possible reasons for their declining populations, the more questions are raised!  

Dudley and Whortle join Meavy, the first Cuckoo to arrive in Africa, who had grounded in the Algerian desert. Since then he has continued south to Niger but has still yet to complete his desert crossing, indicating he may be struggling.   

10 Jul 2014 - Meavy crossing the desert

And our first Cuckoo is in Africa! Meavy was in Spain on 7 July but by yesterday lunchtime he was flying over the Sahara desert. It looks like he was grounded for several hours early this morning in the Ahaggar Mountains in Algeria - we are not sure why this is as the cuckoos usually make good headway over the desert during the cool night time hours, although he may have encountered headwinds.
This is the first time we have observed a Cuckoo that has taken the south-western route via Spain attempt to cross the Sahara in an easterly direction, effectively making their journey over the large expanse of desert even longer.
It's also the earliest date since the start of the project that we have received signals from a tagged Cuckoo within Africa. The earliest date previous to this was 13 July. It's the first year we've followed Meavy so we will have to wait and see whether any of the birds tagged in previous years also reach Africa earlier than in previous years. 

Past updates from Meavy

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© British Trust for Ornithology.