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 06 August 2022

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Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
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Current Cuckoos

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

Bluey

Status: active
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo

Calypso

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

Charles

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

Cooper

Status: active
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo

Daniel

Status: active
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo

Ellis

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

JAC

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

JD

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

Joe

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

Ripple

Status: active
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Farewell to Charles

28 Jul 2022
Sadly it is time to say goodbye to Sussex Cuckoo Charles. We followed Charles over 4,000km (2,485 miles) from his breeding grounds on the Knepp Estate south through France and Spain and into Africa. He seemed to be making such good progress but unfortunately was beaten by the Sahara. As he approached the border between Algeria and Mali he veered off course, drifting south west across the desert. Had he been able to keep going south he would've reached the River Niger within 370 miles where he would have found good feeding opportunities. Instead he travelled 410 miles and perished, still in the desert on the border between Mali and Mauritania. He is gone but not forgotten and the data he provided us with will contribute to our growing knowledge of Cuckoos and the pressures they face.

Bluey moves east into Mali

28 Jul 2022
Having spent the last few weeks in south eastern Senegal, Bluey has flown 167km (104 miles) south east over the border into south western Mali. He is now 33km (20 miles) south of the rural town of Kenieba in the Kayes region of SW Mali.  

Daniel moves back in southern France

28 Jul 2022
Having reached northern Italy, Daniel has flown 128km (80 miles) north west back into southern France. He is now on the lower slopes of Mont Brequin in the Vanoise Massif mountain range of the Western Alps. Daniel made his move to Africa on 12 August last year so he may linger in France/Italy a couple more weeks yet. 

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