Tracking Cuckoos to Africa... and back again

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 -  about the routes they have taken, 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.

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.

Our Cuckoos have now started their outward journey from their breeding grounds in the UK. Follow them below as they make their way back to Africa.


Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2016 to 24 April 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Larry completes desert crossing - 20 Apr 2017
Signals on the 19 April showed that Larry had successfully completed his desert crossing and was north of the Sienna Morena Mountain range in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain. He has travelled 2713km (1685 miles) since the last poor transmissions on 17 April in Mauritania. He is the third of our tagged Cuckoos to successfully cross the desert this spring.
Selborne is back - 18 Apr 2017
During the early evening of Easter Sunday, Selborne arrived back in the New Forest. Since his arrival he has mostly been in the area of forest just to the north and west of Beaulieu, between Pig Bush and Beaulieu Road Station.
Peckham moving west - 18 Apr 2017
During the last few days Peckham has been heading west. Around lunchtime on 16 April his tag gave a series of locations from Ghana. He is currently in an area of fairly open forest midway between Chiranda and Saronoase in western Ghana. 

Get involved

Find out how you can support the project, or contact us directly for further details - cuckoos [at]

Information on this page is only for illustrative purposes and cannot be used without our permission © British Trust for Ornithology.