Tracking Cuckoos to Africa... and back again

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.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the amazing support from funders and sponsors. Read 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.

Follow our Cuckoos as they move to and from Africa.


Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2017 to 14 March 2018

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Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

Victor in Ghana - 13 Mar 2018
Victor has made a big movement westwards and is now in Ghana, West Africa. By 8 March he had covered 1790km (1100 miles) from his previous location in Central African Republic, from where his tag last transmitted on 3 March, and was west of Lake Volta. He's a little bit ahead of where he was at this time last year, when he moved to Ghana in early April and had crossed the desert to northern Africa by 23 April. Will he spend longer preparing for his crossing or take on the challenge earlier than in 2017?
Selborne and PJ head east - 13 Mar 2018

After having travelled so far west, two of our Cuckoos have turned around and gone eastwards. From the Guinea Highlands, Selborne has travelled north-eastwards 125km (80 miles) while PJ has also headed east 190km (115 miles) within Ivory Coast. This may be to do with conditions being more favourable here. 

PJ moves into West Africa - 28 Feb 2018
PJ is the second of our tagged Cuckoos this year to move into West Africa!  By the evenng of 22 February he had covered a distance of 1230km (765 miles) west and was in Togo but, new signals received yesterday morning, show he has continued 960km (600 miles) further to Ivory Coast. He is in the west of Ivory Coast, 165km (just over 100 miles) east of Selborne in Guinea. This could be where he prepares for his desert crossing, as he did last year, crossing in early April.

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Find out how you can support the project, or contact us directly for further details - cuckoos [at]

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