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 17 September 2021

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Current Cuckoos

AJ the Cuckoo AJ the Cuckoo


Status: active
Attenborough the Cuckoo Attenborough the Cuckoo


Status: active
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo


Status: active
Clive the Cuckoo Clive the Cuckoo


Status: active
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: active
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

Ellis joins AJ in Democratic Republic of Congo

17 Sep 2021
A new update shows that Ellis has flown a further 564 Km (350 miles) south east from Central African Republic into Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is now south of the Equator and just over 100 Km (62 miles) east of Cuckoo AJ. They are both now deep within the Congo rainforest in north western DRC. 

Ellis pushes on towards the Congo Basin

16 Sep 2021
Over the last few days Ellis has followed AJ from Nigeria towards the Congo rainforest. By 08:14 on Tuesday morning, Ellis had flown 1000Km (621 miles) south east and had reached the south-western corner of Central African Republic. He was close to Dzanga-Sangha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site established as a protected site in 1990 and covering 6,865Km2. Will he remain here or follow AJ into Congo or DRC? Stay tuned to find out...

AJ pushes further east

03 Sep 2021
Since the last update, AJ has flown 633 Km (393 miles) south east into the south eastern corner of Cameroon. He is now in an area of lowland rainforest, close to Boumba Bek National Park.

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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