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 24 May 2020 to 11 July 2020

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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

PJ

Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo

Valentine

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Valentine visits the south of France

10 Jul 2020
Valentine has flown a further 512 km (319 miles) south and by yesterday evening was in an area of farmland just east of Nimes. Last year his route took him further west down through Spain so it'll be interesting to see whether he flies direct to Africa from France or travels first out to Spain. 

PJ arrives in Spain

10 Jul 2020
Updates received from PJ's tag yesterday morning showed that he had flown 678 km (421 miles) south west from his last location in France to a new location in Navarra, northern Spain. He stopped approximately 25 km (16 miles) north of Pamplona. Further updates received early this morning however suggest that he quickly moved on from here, with a few low quality locations showing him 175 km (108 miles) south west, in a forested area in the municipality of Tardelcuende in the province of Soria, Castile and León. We'll have to await further updates to be sure of PJ's current location. His route so far looks very similar to the route he followed south last year. 

Carlton II crosses into Spain

09 Jul 2020
A new update received yesterday evening shows that Carlton II has flown 261 miles (420 km) south-west over the border into northern Spain. He is now approximately 30 miles (48 km) N-NE of the city of Burgos. 

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

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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