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 25 April 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on
 
 

Latest News

PJ in northern France - 26 Apr 2017
PJ has flown from southern Spain to northern France, covering 1,300km (805 miles). Signals received on 21 April showed PJ crossing the Bay of Biscay and by the afternoon of 22 April he was 35km (20 miles) west of Le Mans.
Larry heads to northern Spain - 26 Apr 2017
From the Sierra Morenna Mountains Larry has traveled 460km (286 miles) northwards within Spain and is just north of Aras, a town in the Navarre region. Victor, the latest Cuckoo to have crossed the desert, is slightly further north than Larry and is in France. Who will be the next Cuckoo to make it back to their breeding grounds? 
Victor in France! - 26 Apr 2017
Victor had been in Ghana since 11 April but transmissions on the 22nd April showed that he was in the Atlas Mountains in northern Algeria. He had completed his desert crossing having travelled over 3113 km (1935 miles).  We received a further series of signals throughout the evening which showed he didn't stop but continued onwards. We were able to follow him mid-way over his crossing of the Channel before the tag turned off. When the tag next sent signals it was around 48 hours later and Victor was a further 1000km north of his previous location in Algeria and was just 50km south west of Marmande in France! He is the fourth of our tagged Cuckoos to cross the desert and is curently further north than Larry, who crossed the desert a few days earlier. 

Get involved

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

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