Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

What have the Cuckoos taught us?

When the Cuckoo Tracking Project began, we knew very little about what our breeding Cuckoos did once they left the UK for the winter months. Amost 100 tagged birds later, our new blog explores what we have learned and the questions we're still asking.

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Help us follow Cuckoos on migration and discover why they are in decline.

The Cuckoo is currently Red Listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in the UK, due to its population decline.

Since 2011 we’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos to find out why they are declining. 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.

Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from 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.

Skill required

  • Follow our Cuckoos on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2022 to 15 August 2022

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Current Cuckoos

Bluey, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232673. Bluey Cuckoo Map Pin

Bluey

Status: active
Calypso the Cuckoo Calypso the Cuckoo

Calypso

Status: active
Charles, Knepp Estate, 2022. PTT 232745. Charles Cuckoo Map Pin

Charles

Status: presumed dead
Cooper, New Forest, 2022. PTT 232672. Cooper Cuckoo Map Pin

Cooper

Status: active
Daniel the Cuckoo 50042 the Cuckoo

Daniel

Status: active
Ellis the Cuckoo Ellis the Cuckoo

Ellis

Status: active
Grove II, Wildgoose Rural Training Centre, 2022. PTT 232674. Grove II Cuckoo Map Pin

Grove II

Status: active
JAC the Cuckoo JAC the Cuckoo

JAC

Status: active
JD, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232671. JD Cuckoo Map Pin

JD

Status: presumed dead
Joe, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232670 Joe Cuckoo Map Pin

Joe

Status: active
Ripple, Strensham, 2022. PTT 232669 Ripple Cuckoo Map Pin

Ripple

Status: active
Victor II the Cuckoo Victor II the Cuckoo

Victor II

Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Ripple moves south in Spain

16 Aug 2022
Ripple has flown 100km south from his last location in and by the early hours of this morning was approximately 7km (4.3 miles) south east of the town of Puebla de Sanabria in the province of Zamora in the autonomous community of Castilla y León. Is this the start of Ripple's big flight south to Africa? Stay tuned to find out!

JAC moves east in Nigeria

15 Aug 2022
Since our last update, JAC has flown approximately 300km (186 miles) east towards north central Nigeria. His route took him to Kamuku National Park and he has since flown a further 30km east. He is now in north west Kaduna state, approximately 90km north west of the city of Kaduna.  

We have lost Calypso

12 Aug 2022
We are sorry to report that we have lost Worcestershire Cuckoo Calypso. Our last good quality signal from Calypso's tag was received on 24 July when he was in northern Italy and although we have had a couple of signals since ,they have been low quality and from the same location. Having reviewed the diagnostic data from the tag we could see that between 26 & 28 July, the battery charge dropped substantially and the temperature reading dropped by 5C, neither of these are good signs. It also seems strange that his last locations were in the middle of an urban area when there is so much apparently suitable natural habitat surrounding it. All of this means that sadly  it looks like the end of the road for Calypso, but he has given us some excellent data including of course a complete migration cycle between Worcestershire and the Congo Basin. 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
Email Contact:
[email protected]

Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • 5/11 - First round of five Cuckoos tagged, wintering sites in the Congo identified 
  • 3/12 - Different routes discovered on return journeys
  • 2016 - First scientific paper published on on the routes of our Cuckoos