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 October 2018

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Carlton II heading east - 18 Oct 2018
During the last week or so Carlton II has begun to move east, first to just over the border and into Niger and then a little further into Niger. He is currently in the Dagida Game Reserve, 30km (19 miles) from the border with Benin.
Cameron is off the radar - 18 Oct 2018
We haven't heard from Cameron for the last 15 days but his last two signals on the 3 October show that he was still alive at that time. We are always concerned when we don't hear from our Cuckoos but we have learned that we do 'lose' some of them for varying periods of time, often because they have moved under the canopy of the forest. Fingers crossed this is the case with Cameron and we hear from him soon.
Bowie settled in Gabon - 18 Oct 2018
Bowie is settled in Gabon for the time being and we are receiving locations from his tag; we last heard from him during the early evening on 16 October. He is frequenting an area of dense rainforest in eastern central Gabon.

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.