Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

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 02 May 2021 to 27 November 2021

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Current Cuckoos

AJ the Cuckoo AJ the Cuckoo


Status: active
Attenborough the Cuckoo Attenborough the Cuckoo


Status: presumed dead
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo


Status: active
Clive the Cuckoo Clive the Cuckoo


Status: unknown
Columbus the Cuckoo Columbus the Cuckoo


Status: unknown
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo


Status: active
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo


Status: active
Grove the Cuckoo Grove the Cuckoo


Status: unknown
Harry the Cuckoo Harry the Cuckoo


Status: unknown
JAC the Cuckoo JAC the Cuckoo


Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker


Status: active
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

PJ moves North

12 Nov 2021
PJ appears to have flown 375 km (232 miles) north from his last location in the south of the Republic of Congo over the border into Gabon. He is now in south eastern Gabon, approximately 50km north of the town of Lekoni. It is a little surprising to see PJ moving further away from his traditional wintering area in Angola so it'll be interesting to see where he moves to next. 

Calypso moves to the Congo

12 Nov 2021
Over the last few days Calypso has completed a 965 km (600 mile) journey south east from Nigeria to the Republic of the Congo. He is now in the Western Cuvette department in the western part of the Republic of the Congo.

Victor II in Gabon

08 Nov 2021
Victor II has flown 265 km (165 miles) south west, over the border from Republic of the Congo into south eastern Gabon. He is now close to the Passa River in the Bateke Plateau National Park. The park covers an area of approximately 2,000 square km and is a UNESCO world heritage site at the transition between rain forest and savannah. Camera trap studies over recent years have shown the presence in the park of 12 mammal species that are threatened with extinction, including chimpanzee, leopard, elephant, giant pangolin and western lowland gorilla. They also captured the first definitive proof of Lion in Gabon (in 2015). 

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

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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