Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

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

We’ve lost over half the number of Cuckoos in the UK over the last 20 years.

Since 2011 we’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos to find out why. 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 sponsorsRead 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.

Join the project

Sponsor a Cuckoo

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2020 to 14 January 2021

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Current Cuckoos

Carlton II the Cuckoo Carlton II the Cuckoo

Carlton II

Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker


Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo


Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

PJ moves north

18 Dec 2020
Over the last couple of weeks, PJ has gradually moved 167 km (104 miles) north into the Zaire district of north-western Angola. He is now in dense rainforest 56 km (35 miles) N-NE of the town of N'Zeto. In previous years PJ has remained in Angola until late January.  

Carlton II flies to Gabon

17 Nov 2020
Updates received from Carlton II late on Sunday evening showed that he had finally left Nigeria and flown 1,157 km (720 miles) south east over Cameroon and into Gabon. He is now in dense rainforest in central Gabon and just 128 km (80 miles) west of PJ. 

Valentine nudges west in Angola

10 Nov 2020
Having flown a further 215 km (133 miles) west in northern Angola, Valentine is now very close to his 2019 wintering grounds. He is 210 km (130 miles) north east of the capital Luanda.

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
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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

Support the project

You can help keep this important project going by either giving a donation, becoming a Cuckoo sponsor, or gifting a sponsorship to someone else. We greatly appreciate the support the project has received, allowing us to continue to monitor this endangered species.

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