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 24 March 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Bill moves further west - 22 Mar 2017
Bill has flown 526km (327 miles) west during the last few days, leaving Togo and completely overflying Ghana. He is currently in eastern Ivory Coast, close to the Komoe River. 
Victor back in Cameroon - 20 Mar 2017
Victor has begun to head west, flying 318km (198 miles) in the last two days. He is currently in central Cameroon on the banks of the Sanaga River.
Larry going for it - 20 Mar 2017
Larry really isn't hanging around. In the last ten days he has travelled 1,257 km (780 miles) from eastern Nigeria to Ghana. He is currently in western Ghana on the southern edge of the Amama Shelterbelt Forest Reserve. It will be interesting to see how long he stays here as he will now have to rest, feed-up and store fat to fuel his journey north across the Sahara.

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.