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 27 February 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

PJ's mammoth journey - 22 Feb 2017
Having been in Cameroon until the late afternoon of 17 February, PJ has since travelled 2020km (1255 miles) and, as of the early hours of the morning of the 22 February, was in Ivory Coast. This large movement has taken just four and a half days! PJ is the second Cuckoo who has made a rapid westerly movement, also moving much further west than we normally see at this time of year. 
Bill in Gabon - 16 Feb 2017
Signals received on the 8 February show that Bill is still alive and well and has continued north to Gabon. 
Selborne heads for southern forest - 07 Feb 2017
Having gone so far north and west, past the rains, it's reassuring to see that Selborne has headed south a little to the Guinean forests, where conditions are likely to be better than his previous location 115km (70 miles north). 

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.