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 01 May 2020 to 03 August 2020

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on
Show markers
Show routes
Show all birds

Current Cuckoos

Carlton II the Cuckoo Carlton II the Cuckoo

Carlton II

Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker


Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo


Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

PJ still in northern Spain

03 Aug 2020
PJ is still in the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Huesca, Spain, and the last update received a couple of days ago shows him in the wooded valley below the Castillo Mayor mountain. Castillo Mayor is a 2,014m (6,608ft) high limestone platform and the valleys below are home to an extensive mixed forest.

Valentine has crossed the Sahara

03 Aug 2020
Over the last few days Valentine has made a huge movement south, flying 2,840 km (1,764 miles) from his previous location in southern Spain across the Sahara into Mali. At 05:37 this morning he was in southern Mali, approximately 320 km (199 miles) north-east of the capital Bamoko. In 2019 Valentine first stop after crossing the Sahara was a few hundred miles east in Burkina Faso, where he stayed until mid-November.  

Carlton II edges south

31 Jul 2020
Since our last update Carlton II has flown 108 km (67 miles) south west to a new location near Villoldo, a municipality located in the province of Palencia, Castile and León, Spain. The final data point showed him heading south in the direction of Palencia so it'll be interesting to see whether he has stayed in the same area or pressed on. 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
Email Contact:

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.

Related content