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 15 January 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Victor makes a large movement north - 05 Jan 2017

Over the course of a few days Victor has headed north, covering a total distance of 950km (590 miles), and arriving in northern Gabon by 3 January. Could this be the start of his return home?

It's more than likely that this is the first northward 'phase' of his annual journey but doesn't necessarily mean he'll continue. He will probably now stay in that region for a couple of weeks before moving north of the forest zone and then moving into West Africa. As he was one of the birds that went so far south this year, he may simply have started early to return to the area that would be a typical mid-winter location for our cuckoos most years.

David follows previous path - 21 Dec 2016
David remained in the Parc National De La Salonga Nord in the Democratic Republic of Congo until 7 December when new signals indicated he was on the way south, as in previous years, to the Parc National De La Salonga Sud. He has made this small move to the southern area of park and surrounding areas each year since we started following him in 2012, though the timings have been slightly varaible each year. 
Victor heads north - 21 Dec 2016
Signals received from Victor's tag today show that he has left the area he was in, close to PJ, and headed 130km (81 miles) north within Angola. He is now less than 5 miles from both Larry and Bill!  

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

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