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 18 October 2021

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Current Cuckoos

AJ the Cuckoo AJ the Cuckoo


Status: active
Attenborough the Cuckoo Attenborough the Cuckoo


Status: presumed dead
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo


Status: active
Clive the Cuckoo Clive the Cuckoo


Status: unknown
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: unknown
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

PJ heads south

19 Oct 2021
Over the last few days PJ has flown 340 km (211 miles) south from northern Nigeria where he has been since 13 August, to his new location in the western part of Kaduna state. He is just east of the man-made Shiroro Reservoir which was created in 1984 by damming the Kaduna River. He usually stops south of Abuja which is another 120 km south east of his current location. The next country on his list is likely to be Cameroon. 

Victor II arrives in Cameroon

12 Oct 2021
New updates received at around 6am this morning show that Victor II has flown 1,061 Km (660 miles) south-south east from Nigeria to northern Cameroon. He is now close to the Nta Ali Forest Reserve.

JAC flies to the Congo

12 Oct 2021
Over the last few days JAC has flown 866 Km (538 miles) south east from Cameroon to the Republic of Congo. He is now deep within the Congo rainforest, close to the Likouala River, a tributary of the Congo. 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
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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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