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Victor II

Victor II has been named by Ann Masters, in loving memory of her late husband. Ann fondly remembers competing with her husband each year to see who heard the first Cuckoo, and hopes that this work will inspire a love of nature for future generations.

Victor II the Cuckoo
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 06:30
Tagging Location:
Loch Katrine, Perthshire, Scotland
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Victor II's journey from 13 July 2023 to 18 September 2023

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Victor II's movements

07 Jul 2023 - Victor II's post-mortem results

We have now received the results of the post-mortem kindly performed on Victor II by Vets at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Victor II was tagged on 21 May 2021 in Scotland and found dead in a field of Orange trees in Pobla Llarga (Valencia) on 19 April 2023. Fortunately his body was found and quickly recovered so that it could be sent off for a post-mortem.

The post-mortem, carried out by Vet Ignacio Marco Sanchez, reveal that Victor II was very thin. The recorded loss of body condition suggests to us that he wasn't able to recover from the Sahara crossing, likely due to poor conditions in Spain where it had been extremely dry.

Furthermore, the post-mortem also reported that Victor II had haemorrhages on his head and neck, possibly suggesting that he had collided with a tree in the orange grove. One explanation for this may be that in his weakened state he would have been a more likely target for a predator and may have hit a tree in an attempt to escape an attack.

It is very useful to receive such detailed information about the condition of one of our birds at the end of its life and we are grateful to the finder, Juan Carlos Regojo for facilitating these investigations. Victor II contributed data from two almost complete migrations to Africa and back and gave us even more information after his death.     

20 Apr 2023 - The end of the road for Victor II

We have been following Victor II since he was tagged on the shores of Loch Katrine in Perthshire, Scotland on 19 May 2021. He was so close to giving us two complete migrations to the Congo Basin and back but was found dead yesterday near Valencia and quickly reported by the finder to us. We have since been corresponding with the finder to secure the return of his tag and are urgently trying to arrange a post-mortem. 

While we are of course very sad to have lost Victor II, he may well have more to teach us. It is rare for us to have the opportunity to learn the cause of death of our Cuckoos. If we can arrange a post-mortem it could provide us with useful information about his general condition as well as the cause of death. We will examine his tag for wear and tear and hopefully arrange for it to be reconditioned and reused. We will of course update you with any new information we are able to glean over the coming weeks. In the meantime we bid farewell and thanks to Victor II and focus our attention on our three remaining birds - Joe, JAC and Ellis. 

14 Apr 2023 - Victor II out of Africa

New updates received last night show that Victor II has flown 530km (330 miles) north east from his last location in north east Morocco, over the western part of the Mediterranean and into Spain. By 18:30 last night (Thursday 13 April) he was close to the town of La Pobla Llarga in the province of Valencia. He stopped off in Spain last year too, arriving on 15 April and pausing for a couple of days close to the city of Lleida in the west of Catalonia, before heading north towards Andorra and then on into France. Last year he arrived back in the UK on 1st May.

13 Apr 2023 - Victor II has completed his desert crossing

We are relieved to report that since our last update Victor II has flown 1,255km (780 miles) north, taking him from Mali to north east Morocco, completing his desert crossing. When we last heard from him he was 45km (28 miles) south west of city of Nador. Will he linger in north Africa or press on to Europe?  

10 Apr 2023 - Victor II is crossing the Sahara

New updates received from Victor II's tag early yesterday morning showed that he had set off on his desert crossing. At around 5am he was flying over east central Mauritania and by mid morning he was in north western Mali. By that time he had covered 1,830km (1,137 miles) and was 125km (78 miles) north west of the remote salt mining centre Taoudenni. This means he is in the hottest region and one of the driest regions on the planet where the average temperature is over 40 degrees C (104F) and average rainfall is between 1 and 2 cm per year. Clearly not a place Victor II will want to linger in. Last year he turned up in northern Spain on 15 April so hopefully when we next hear fom him he will have completed his crossing and be in north Africa or even Europe.  

Past updates from Victor_II

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