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PJ is named in memory of Pamela Joy Miller who passed on her passion for birds to her nephews and nieces and their children - now all her family can follow PJ's journey and think of Pam

Cuckoo 161318 portrait
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 06:00
Tagging Location:
King's Forest, Suffolk, England
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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PJ's journey from 02 May 2021 to 06 May 2022

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PJ's movements

25 Apr 2022 - PJ is back again

New updates received early yesterday morning (24 April) showed that PJ had flown the final 1,000 km from northern Spain and was back in the UK. Further updates received since tell us that he is safely back on his breeding grounds in the King's Forest in Suffolk having completed his sixth tracked migration between the UK and Africa. Each complete migration from Suffolk to his wintering grounds in the Congo Basin and back again is approximately 16,000 km (9,940 miles) so we have now tracked him over at least 96,000 km (59,640 miles). He was a second year bird when we tagged him so he had already completed a full migration cycle before we tagged him in 2016. This means that over the course of his life so far he has flown 112,000 km (69,580 miles) on migration alone. It is a wonder he has any energy left to chase around his breeding grounds defending his territory and searching for mates! The oldest ringed UK Cuckoo was caught alive at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire in 1983 - 6 years, 11 months and 2 days after he was ringed as an adult, making him at least 7 years, 11 months and 2 days old. PJ will have to survive another year to vie for the crown of the UK's oldest known Cuckoo but his achievements so far have already exceeded our wildest expectations - what a bird!

18 Apr 2022 - PJ reaches northern Spain

Over the last 472 Km (294 miles) north to northern Spain. He is now more or less neck and neck with Victor II who is approximately 200 Km (125 miles) east of him. PJ is now in the Sierra del Perdon mountain range approximately 10 Km south of Pamplona. 

11 Apr 2022 - PJ nudges west in Spain

New updates show that PJ has flown 57 km (35 miles) west and is now in the Sierra de Alacaraz mountain range in Albacete Province, southeast Spain.

07 Apr 2022 - PJ arrives in Spain

PJ has continued his progress north after crossing the Sahara and over the last 48 hours he has crossed the Mediterranean and arrived in Spain. By the early hours of yesterday morning he had made it to the Murcia province of southern Spain where he was just within the Paraje El Nevazo de Abajo ecological park. He is 113km (70 miles) due west of Alicante so he is still a couple of hundred kilometres further east than his usual route, but as we now know, this is no big deal for these birds! He is approximately 175km further north than Cuckoo Ellis but will he maintain this lead or will Ellis leap frog him? It usually takes PJ no more than about 10 days to get from Spain back to the UK so we are keeping everything crossed that we'll soon be sending you the exciting news that he has made it "home".

04 Apr 2022 - PJ is crossing the Sahara

Almost six years after he was tagged in June 2016, Cuckoo PJ is once again speeding back to his breeding grounds in the King's Forest, Suffolk. Wintering each year in northern Angola and the Congo Basin, he returns via Ivory Coast in west Africa, a 16,000km (10,000 mile) round trip. This means that if he makes it back to Suffolk this year he will have racked up well in excess of 60,000 miles in his lifetime. We continue to be amazed by the feats of this incredible Cuckoo and remain thankful that the tag has lasted so well.

PJ has spent the last few weeks in Ivory Coast, feeding up in preparation for attempting his crossing of the Sahara. At 09:02 on Saturday morning (April 2) he was in southern Mauritania. Over the next 38 hours he continued north over the desert, flying at an average speed of 28mph and covering 1,340 km (832 miles) so that by 23:42 last night (April 3) he had reached western Algeria. His route north over the desert has taken him further east than in previous year because of stiff westerly winds. These will switch to southerly as he moves north over Algeria, giving him a welcome boost along the way. He usually progresses through Spain and France back to England, arriving back in Suffolk between 18th and 30th April. 

Past updates from PJ

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