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 -  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.

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.

Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from Africa.


Cuckoo movements from 10 May 2018 to 17 June 2018

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Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Thomas is on his way south - 15 Jun 2018
Since having his tag fitted, Thomas spent the next 9 days moving around his tagging site in Thetford Forest, Norfolk. However, during the early morning of 14 May we recieved a series of locations from his tag that showed he had left the forest, heading southeast over East Anglia and Kent, before crossing the English Channel and flying over northern France. He didn't stop there, he is currently in the south of France, in a patch of woodland close to Langeac. He has flown 850km (528 miles) in two days and is our most southerly Cuckoo at this time.
Sherwood heading south - 13 Jun 2018
Sherwood is poised to cross the English Channel. During the evening of 12 June, we received locations from his tag that showed he had left Sherwood Forest and was on the south coast, just north of Hayling Island. The next time we hear from him he may well be our fifth Cuckoo in France.
Cameron has crossed the Channel - 13 Jun 2018
Locations received from Cameron's tag early on 12 June showed that he was in northern France, in the Foret Domaniale des Andaines. He has travelled 287km (178 miles) from his tagging site in the New Forest.

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.