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Selborne has been named by the Hampshire Ornithological Society to commemorate Gilbert White, the pioneering 18th century naturalist and ornithologist from Selborne in Hampshire.

Selborne the Cuckoo portrait (placeholder)
Friday, June 10, 2016 - 06:00
Tagging Location:
New Forest, Hampshire, England
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Selborne's journey from 01 May 2018 to 24 August 2019

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Selborne's movements

29 Apr 2019 - Farewell Selborne

We are sorry to report sad news about Selborne. We last heard from Selborne at midday on 4 April when he had just arrived in Spain and it now looks as if he died later that day or overnight. His last location shows him over a southern ridge of the Sierra Morena mountains where it appears that he was stopped suddenly in his tracks as he topped that slope. We will probably never know what happened to Selborne but it would appear most likely that he was either taken by an avian predator or succumbed to human hunters. Selborne was named by the Hampshire Ornithological Society when he was tagged in June 2016. Since then we have followed Selborne over two complete migration loops from Hampshire to his wintering grounds in Gabon. He was only 1,430 Km (888 miles) from completing his third migration loop. We are grateful to the Hampshire Ornithological Society and all of Selborne's sponsors for enabling the wonderful contribution that Selborne has made to advancing our understanding of Cuckoo migration.

04 Apr 2019 - Selborne has made it to Spain

A series of locations from Selborne's tag during the early hours of 3 April showed that he was in southern Spain, just to the west of Antequera. However, a set of poor locations received around breakfast on 4 April suggest that he had moved on and was 118km (73 miles) further north and east and close to the town of Lopera. Since leaving the Guinea Highlands on the evening of 31 March he has travelled 3,294km (2,047 miles). We will have to wait for high quality locations to confirm his most recent stopover and for it to update on his map.

02 Apr 2019 - Selborne in the desert

Selborne's tag transmitted again last night (Monday 1st April), confirming our suspicions that he was on migration over the Sahara Desert. Selborne was still in Guinea at 22:24 on 31st March and we next heard from him at 17:48 on 1st April by which time he had flown 1,440 Km (895 miles) north to Mali. Another update arrived at 19:50 last night showing he had pressed on to Algeria, making the total distance traveled 1,718 Km (1,067 miles) at an average speed of 49.8 mph over a period of 21 hours and 26 minutes. The latest update shows Selborne in the Erg Chech Desert in western Algeria. 

01 Apr 2019 - Selborne crossing the Sahara?

An update received from Hampshire Cuckoo Selborne's tag at 22:24 last night (Sunday 31st March) showed that he had flown 392 Km (243 miles) north to the north-eastern corner of Guinea, close to the border with Mali. It might just be that Selborne has continued on this trajectory and is now on his way across the Sahara Desert. In 2017 he started his crossing on 25 March and in 2018 he departed on 22nd March. We will have to await the next transmission to find out if he will be the first to tackle the mighty Sahara. Last year Selborne was the first of our tagged Cuckoos to make it back to the UK, arriving on 14th April.

11 Mar 2019 - Selborne doubles back

Selborne has left Guinea and headed back east and into Ivory Coast. He seems to be homing in on the rains that are currently prevalent in the southern half of Ivory Coast. This wasn’t a short journey, he is 376km (234 miles) from his location in Guinea. This shows the importance of homing in on the rains and that our Cuckoos have the ability to do this.

Past updates from Selborne

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