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 -  about the routes they have taken, 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.

Our Cuckoos have now started their outward journey from their breeding grounds in the UK. Follow them below as they make their way back to Africa.


Cuckoo movements from 01 May 2016 to 16 January 2017

View routes starting..
Cuckoo positions on

Latest News

PJ continues on north - 17 Jan 2017
PJ has moved north again and is currently in the central Congo rainforest close to Tsongo-Pa. We haven't heard from him since 8 January but it is likely because he is beneath the rainforest canopy and the solar panel on his tag is unable to charge the tag batteries very well.
Markoo in DRC - 17 Jan 2017
Markoo has headed north again and is now in DRC, close to the border with Cabinda, a disputed northern exclave of Angola. He is currently 48km (30 miles) south and east of Cabinda city.
Larry moves north and east - 17 Jan 2017
Larry has left his mid-winter location in Angola and has moved north and west into DRC and the Congo rainforest. He will probably stay here for a month or so, feeding up to fuel his move into West Africa sometime in February.

Get involved

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

Information on this page is only for illustrative purposes and cannot be used without our permission © British Trust for Ornithology.