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Originally tagged in 2022, Bluey’s tag failed in Africa in July of the same year. He was recaught in 2023 and fitted with a new tag. Cuckoo sponsor Erin (6 yrs) chose the name Bluey after her favourite TV character who is brave, cheeky and full of energy – all traits needed in a Cuckoo. Bluey’s new tag was funded by Diana Housely, Stewart Brown and Ian Duncan.

Sunday, May 28, 2023 - 06:00
Tagging Location:
Knepp Estate, West Sussex
Age when found:
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Bluey's journey from 27 May 2023 to 08 June 2023

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Bluey's position on
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Bluey's movements

08 Jun 2023 - Bluey moves south

Over the last couple of days, Bluey has left Knepp and flown approximately 15 km (9 miles) south-east towards Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex. After popping briefly into Buckingham Park, he has been exploring the area around the village of Upper Bleeding. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is the start of his migration or if he will head back towards Knepp. 

07 Jun 2023 - Welcome back Cuckoo Bluey

In early May we were surprised to receive a photograph of a satellite-tagged Cuckoo on the Knepp Estate in Sussex. This was unexpected, because although we have previously tagged birds at Knepp, we had lost contact with them all, either because they had died or the tag had failed.

So it was with great excitement that the team approached their nets early on the morning of 18 May after watching a tagged Cuckoo fly towards them. They had indeed caught the tagged bird and they soon discovered that this was Bluey, originally tagged in May 2022 at Knepp.

We tracked Bluey south across the Sahara to the border region between Mali and Senegal but lost contact with him in late July 2022. The diagnostic data from his tag did not suggest any sort of tag malfunction so we concluded that he had perished.

It was a joy to hear that he was alive and well back in Sussex. He appeared to be in good health, so the team removed his original tag and fitted him with a new tag; hopefully, this one will last longer. The map on this page will show his movements since having his new tag fitted in May 2023. We are hoping that we’ll be able to find out why his original tag failed.

Since being tagged, Bluey has remained on the Knepp Estate. 

19 Oct 2022 - Farewell Bluey

It has been almost three months now since we last heard from Bluey and sadly we must conclude that he has perished. Having made it across the Sahara and reached south west Mali, the updates stopped despite the diagnostic data from his tag not suggesting any malfunctions. Having taken the westerly route across the Sahara which we know is associated with a higher mortality rate for our tagged Cuckoos it is sad but not so surprising to report this ending. Bluey has added valuable data to our growing knowledge of Cuckoo migration. 

28 Jul 2022 - Bluey moves east into Mali

Having spent the last few weeks in south eastern Senegal, Bluey has flown 167km (104 miles) south east over the border into south western Mali. He is now 33km (20 miles) south of the rural town of Kenieba in the Kayes region of SW Mali.  

12 Jul 2022 - Bluey completes his desert crossing

Bluey has continued his journey south, flying 429km (267 miles) south from his last location in Mauritania, crossing briefly over Mali and arriving in Senegal. By 06:21 this morning he was in the south eastern corner of Senegal, approaching Niokolo-Koba National Park. Hopefully he will now find some good places to rest and recover from his desert crossing. At the moment 3,174km (1,972 miles) separate Bluey in west Africa from Joe in Chad. 

Past updates from Bluey

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