Cuckoo Tracking Project

Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

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

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. Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from Africa.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsorsRead 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 23 May 2019 to 21 July 2019

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Current Cuckoos

Carlton II the Cuckoo Carlton II the Cuckoo

Carlton II

Status: active
Knepp the Cuckoo Knepp the Cuckoo


Status: active
Lambert the Cuckoo Lambert the Cuckoo


Status: active


Status: active
Nussey the Cuckoo Nussey the Cuckoo


Status: active
Cuckoo 161318 portrait Cuckoo 161318 map marker


Status: active
Raymond the Cuckoo Raymond the Cuckoo


Status: active
Robinson the Cuckoo Robinson the Cuckoo


Status: deceased
Senan the Cuckoo Senan the Cuckoo


Status: active
Tennyson the Cuckoo Tennyson the Cuckoo


Status: active
Thomas the Cuckoo Thomas the Cuckoo


Status: active
Valentine the Cuckoo Valentine the Cuckoo


Status: active

View previously tagged birds

Latest updates

Tennyson is the first to cross the desert!

22 Jul 2019
In our last update we reported that Thetford Cuckoo Tennyson had made it as far as Northern Niger, having flown 2,496 km (1,550 miles) from his previous stop-over site in northern Spain. A transmission received from Tennyson's tag at 07:44 on Friday July 19 confirmed that he had become the first of our tagged Cuckoo to successfully cross the Sahara in 2019. He passed east of the Air Mountains in Niger and landed in northern Nigeria. After stopping first close to Kano, the state capital of Kano State in northern Nigeria, he has since flown 256 km (159 miles) south east and is in north-eastern Nigeria, on the border between the states of Bauchi and Taraba. 1,432 km (890 miles) now separates Tennyson from Valentine, the other Cuckoo that has crossed the desert. Both of these Cuckoos were tagged in Thetford Forest this year. 

Valentine has crossed the desert

22 Jul 2019
Since our last update Valentine has become the second of our tagged Cuckoos to successfully cross the Sahara. From his location in Morocco he has flown south east into Algeria and then due south over Mali to Burkina Faso. He is currently in the Rollo Department, a commune of Bam Province in north-western Burkina Faso. He is 125 km (78 miles) north of the capital Ouagadougou. 

Nussey near Escource

18 Jul 2019
Since our last update Nussey has flown a further 20 km (13 miles) north and is now close to the town of Escource in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Having already been to Africa, he has regressed to being our most northerly Cuckoo! 

Browse updates from our Cuckoos

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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

Support the project

You can help keep this important project going by either giving a donation, becoming a Cuckoo sponsor, or gifting a sponsorship to someone else. We greatly appreciate the support the project has received, allowing us to continue to monitor this endangered species.

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