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.

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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 21 March 2023

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Current Cuckoos

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


Status: presumed dead
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo


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


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


Status: presumed dead
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo


Status: presumed dead
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo


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


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


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


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


Status: presumed dead
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

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Latest updates

Victor II joins Joe in Ivory Coast

13 Mar 2023
New updates received from Victor II's tag over the weekend show that he has flown a further 722km (450 miles) west from Benin to Ivory Coast. He is now in central Ivory Coast, approximately 76km (47 miles) north east of the capital Yamoussoukro and 165km (100 miles) west of Cuckoo Joe. He is now very close to the stop over site he used last year when he spent approximately a month in Ivory Coast before crossing the Sahara. 

Victor II moves west

09 Mar 2023
A couple of new updates received early this morning (9 Feb) show that Victor II has finally departed the Congo rainforest. He has flown 1,510km (940 miles) north west to south west Benin, a week ahead of last year's schedule. Last year he stopped slightly further west, in eastern Ghana, before progressing on to Ivory Coast where he stayed until 14 April when he set off across the desert. We expect him to proceed further west, perhaps to Ivory Coast over the next few days.  

Joe moves to Ivory Coast

02 Mar 2023
New updates received over the last 24 hours show that Joe has flown a further 217km (135 miles) west from his last location in Ghana to his new location in Ivory Coast. He is now a few miles south of the town of Agnibilékrou in eastern Ivory Coast. 

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