Cuckoo Tracking Project

Help us track Cuckoo and learn even more about their epic migration

We’ve been satellite-tracking Cuckoos since 2011. We’ve learned lots of vital information, such as how the different migration routes are linked to declines, and some of the pressures Cuckoos face whilst on migration, but there is still much more to discover.

An important aspect of this project is how it helps us improve our understanding of why Cuckoo are in decline:

  • Since 1995, the number of Cuckoos has decreased by over 30%.
  • The Cuckoo is currently Red-listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in the UK.

Our Cuckoo Tracking Project is vital and it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsors.

Sponsor a Cuckoo

​What’s next

We now need to look more closely at how dependent Cuckoos 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.

Watch the Cuckoos migrate on our map

Each Cuckoo’s tag sends us location data approximately every day, so we can follow them and learn more about their migration.

Time / skill required

  • Spend as much time as you like following each Cuckoo's migration on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.
  • No technical skills are required to support this project - just a love of Cuckoos.

Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2023 to 25 May 2024

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on
 
 
 
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Current Cuckoos

Bluey. Bluey

Bluey

ID: 242385
Status: active
Cuach Carran. Cuach Carran Map Pin.

Cuach Carran

ID: 242389
Status: unknown
Cuach Cores. Cores

Cuach Cores

ID: 242386
Status: active
Cuach Torc. Torc

Cuach Torc

ID: 242384
Status: active
George. George

George

ID: 242387
Status: unknown
JAC the Cuckoo JAC

JAC

ID: 213805
Status: presumed dead
Jasper. Jasper

Jasper

ID: 232668
Status: unknown
Joe, Cranwich Heath, 2022. PTT 232670 Joe

Joe

ID: 232670
Status: active
KP. KP

KP

ID: 242388
Status: active
Cleeve (2023 tagged Cuckoo) Michael

Michael

ID: 242426
Status: unknown
Sayaan. Sayaan

Sayaan

ID: 242502
Status: active
Trent Trent

Trent

ID: 242383
Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

House! Cores completes the set...

09 May 2024

Cuach Cores wasted no time after he left France, taking a direct route of around 560km (347 miles) back to Killarney National Park, where he was originally tagged on 17 May, 2023.

The majority of his flight was over open water, though he did pass briefly over the tip of Cornwall near Land's End!

He is the last of our still-active tagged Cuckoos to have returned to the breeding grounds this spring.

The end of the road for Cuckoo George

01 Jan 2024

We enjoyed following Cuckoo George from Norfolk down through northern Italy and across the Sahara to Chad. From there he progressed via Central African Republic to the Congo Basin of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We lost contact with him in November while he was progressing south in the Mai-Ndombe province of DRC.

The tag's battery was very low when we last received a signal and we know he had recently moved, so it seems the low charge is likely the reason we lost contact with the tag. What happened after that - continued degradation of the battery / tag or a problem for George, we don't know, and will now never know, unless he is seen or caught again, or his ring or tag are recovered.

Cores blimey - he's on his way!

08 May 2024

Cuach Cores has finally left France! After spending several days south of the city of Bourges, he has headed approximately 553km (343 miles) north-west to the Brittany coast.

From here, he seems to be heading towards Cornwall, where he could make brief landfall before continuing his journey - or will he veer off to the west and take a more direct route across the Celtic Sea to Ireland?

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

Project Lead
Email Contact:
cuckoos@bto.org

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