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Named after one of Chris Packham's favourite musicians David Bowie - a real trailblazer

Bowie the Cuckoo
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 08:00
Tagging Location:
Bolderwood, New Forest
Age when found:
Over one year
Satellite Tag No.:
Wing Length (mm):

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Bowie's journey from 22 May 2018 to 11 April 2019

Bowie's position on
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Bowie's movements

08 May 2019 - The end of the road for Bowie

We last heard from Bowie's tag when he was near the Algerian town of Hammam Righa on the Oued Djer River. On examining the data it looks like Bowie was struggling in the latter part of his northward desert crossing and spent at least six hours on the desert floor on the morning of 11 April. The temperature data recorded by his tag suggest he died on 13 April, soon after his arrival at the final location.  Bowie has gien us useful information about his southward migration, wintering areas and northwards migration as far as north Africa, all of which helps extend our knowledge of Cuckoo migration. We are grateful to all of Bowie's sponsors and supporters. 

15 Apr 2019 - Bowie has crossed the desert

Several poor quality locations from Bowies tag show that he has successfully crossed the desert and is in northern Algeria. He is south of the town of Hadjout in an area of cultivated hills and around 25km (15 miles) from the Mediterranean coast. We will have to wait for good quality locations for this to show on his map.

11 Apr 2019 - Bowie is on his way

A series of locations received from Bowies's tag mid-morning on 11 April showed that he was in the Grand Erg Oriental Desert, central Algeria, and around three-quarters of the way across the Sahara. This will automatically update on his map overnight. He is 2,571km (1,598 miles) north and east of his last location in Ghana. We will have to wait until his tag powers up again, around mid morning on 13 April, to see if he has successfully crossed the desert. Currently the wind is fairly light and from the north-west in this part of the desert. We have three other Cuckoos that are currently crossing the desert and, along with Bowie, these birds are also heading north-east, possibly being drifted by the north-westerly winds. We will have to wait and see if they have corrected their direction of travel when we next hear from them to help confirm this.

29 Mar 2019 - Bowie returns to Ghana

Since our last update Bowie has backtracked East, flying 411 Km (255 miles) from Ivory Coast over the border into Ghana. He is now 122 Km (75 miles) west of the city of Kumasi in south west Ghana.

18 Mar 2019 - Bowie moves again

Over the weekend Bowie moved south and west within Ivory Coast. Having spent a couple of weeks in eastern Ivory Coast he is now close to the western border and Liberia. He has flown 231km (143 miles) to get to his current location, an area of palm plantations close to the village of Niapoyo.

Past updates from Bowie

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© British Trust for Ornithology.