On our first day of catching (19 May 2011) we were lucky enough to catch four birds. Despite catching two birds early on in the day we could not tag them as both were too light to take a satellite tag. We knew catching five Cuckoos was not going to be an easy task but given this, catching enough big Cuckoos suddenly seemed impossible! However persistence paid off and fittingly enough, our third bird, caught at the BTO Nunnery Lakes Reserve, was big enough and Clement the ‘BTO Cuckoo’, was our first bird tagged.
We regret to announce the death of Clement the Cuckoo, last heard from in Cameroon on 25 February. Temperature data transmitted at the time via satellite suggested that he was no longer alive and we must now assume that he will not be returning to Norfolk for the summer. The other four Cuckoos are in The Ivory Coast and Ghana.
It is amazingly fortunate that all five Cuckoos survived as long as they did. Interestingly, the only information we had about a ringed Cuckoo in Africa, prior to this winter, was of a bird of exactly the same age as Clement that was killed by man (presumably for the pot) in Lembe in Cameroon (just 100 miles due north of Clement's last position) on 30th January 1930. Read more about how Clement has helped to advance our knowledge of Cuckoo migration.