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.

Visit the blog

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 2022 to 27 June 2022

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
Show markers
Show routes
Show all birds

Current Cuckoos

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

Bluey

Status: active
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo

Calypso

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

Charles

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

Cooper

Status: active
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo

Daniel

Status: active
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo

Ellis

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

JAC

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

JD

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

Joe

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

Ripple

Status: active
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Daniel is back at Lake Vyrnwy

27 Jun 2022
Having spent the last week or so visiting the Llanymynech area, Daniel has flown the 29km (18 miles) west, back to his breeding grounds on the southern shore of Lake Vyrnwy. Perhaps he was struggling to find a good enough food supply and so returned to an area that he was familiar with and could be more confident would hold the food supply that he needs. 

Charles reaches the south of France

27 Jun 2022
By early Saturday evening Charles had flown 357km (222 miles) south from his last location and had reached the town of Tourbes in the Occitanie region of southern France. Subsequent signals showed him pushing on south and the last update, received at 22:12 on Saturday night showed him nearing Riversaltes, just to the north of Perpignan. If he keeps going he could well overtake JD as our most southerly Cuckoo.  

Ellis moves to Friesland

27 Jun 2022
After making landfall on the Dutch coast just south of Rotterdam, Ellis took to the skies again over the weekend, flying 204km (127 miles) north east to Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. He is now on some farmland just north of the city of Leeuwarden, an area that looks as if it could offer some very good feeding opportunities for a Cuckoo. 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
Email Contact:
cuckoos@bto.org

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