Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

What have the Cuckoos taught us?

When the Cuckoo Tracking Project began, we knew very little about what our breeding Cuckoos did once they left the UK for the winter months. Amost 100 tagged birds later, our new blog explores what we have learned and the questions we're still asking.

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Help us follow Cuckoos on migration and discover why they are in decline.

The Cuckoo is currently Red Listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in the UK, due to its population decline.

Since 2011 we’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos to find out why they are declining. We’ve learned lots of vital information which could help us to understand our Cuckoos, such as how the different routes taken are linked to declines, and some of the pressures they face whilst on migration — but there is still more to discover. We now need to look more closely at how dependent they are on, and how much their migration is linked, to the drought-busting rains of the weather frontal system known as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as they move out of the Congo rainforest and begin to head back to the UK via West Africa.

Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from Africa.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsors. Read more about the project and find out how you can get involved.

We have been able to share our expertise around tracking Cuckoos with other international studies, such as the Beijing Cuckoo Project.

Skill required

  • Follow our Cuckoos on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2020 to 25 June 2022

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Current Cuckoos

Bluey, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232673. Bluey Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo


Status: active
Charles, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232745. Charles Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Cooper, New Forest, 2022. PTT 232672. Cooper Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo


Status: active
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo


Status: active
Grove II, Wildgoose Rural Training Centre, 2022. PTT 232674. Grove II Cuckoo Map Pin

Grove II

Status: active
JAC the Cuckoo JAC the Cuckoo


Status: active
JD, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232671. JD Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Joe, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232670 Joe Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Ripple, Strensham, 2022. PTT 232669 Ripple Cuckoo Map Pin


Status: active
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Ellis returns to the Netherlands

24 Jun 2022
After what appears to be quite a long sea crossing, Ellis made landfall last night in the Netherlands. By 9pm he was on the De Kwade Hoek Nature Reserve - translated as "Evil Corner" due to the treacherous currents and sandbanks in this area. The reserve is part of the larger Dunes of Goeree nature reserve on Goeree-Overflakkee in South Holland - he has picked a beautiful spot to stop! Ellis also stopped off in the Netherlands on his way south last year albeit a little further north than his current location. In 2021 he remained in the Netherlands until 4 July when he moved swiftly south through Germany and Italy, arriving in Libya by 8 July and sub-saharan Niger by 10 July. 

JAC visits Havant

23 Jun 2022
Since our last update JAC has reached Havant on the south coast of England. The last transmission showed him between Nevill's Park and the Fat Face distribution centre. We are due another transmission soon, will he still be touring Havant or will he be in France? Last year he arrived in northern France on 24 June and remained here for approximately a month.

Victor II moves south in France

23 Jun 2022
Victor II has flown 338km (210 miles) south from his last location in the Pas-de-Callais department of northern France to a forest outside Dampierre-en-Burly in the Loiret department of northern central France. Last year he flew straight from northern France to the French Riviera but didn't make this journey until 18th July.  

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

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Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • 5/11 - First round of five Cuckoos tagged, wintering sites in the Congo identified 
  • 3/12 - Different routes discovered on return journeys
  • 2016 - First scientific paper published on on the routes of our Cuckoos