British cuckoo migration research

This video from Britain says about itself:

Aug 30, 2011

A short video documenting the process of capturing and tagging Cuckoos for the BTO Cuckoo tracking project. Follow the progress of our five satellite-tagged Cuckoos here.

From Wildlife Extra:

First cuckoos already leaving the UK

While many of us are still waiting for summer, it seems that some BTO Cuckoos are already on the move and starting the journey to their wintering grounds!

June 2013. In 2011 BTO attached satellite-tracking devices to several Cuckoos from Norfolk to find out more about their important stop-over sites and wintering destinations on the way to and from Africa. The cuckoos surprised everyone with their migration routes and timing. In 2012, the project was expanded to include cuckoos from Wales and Scotland. BTO have been able to expand the project thanks to support from funders and sponsors.

2013 cuckoos already leaving – Karma leaves his tagging ground

During the late evening of the 13 June and the early hours of the 14 June, BTO received transmissions showing that the cuckoo known as Karma was moving east from his previous position near Inch na Croe in the west of Scotland, over the Grampian mountains. By 7am on 14 June he was located about 27km (17 miles) west of Aberdeen. Further signals received on the 16 June showed that he continued east a little further and is now close to the town of Durris, no more than 16km (10 miles) from the east coast. Having become the first Cuckoo to begin his southward migration this year, the question is – where will he head to from here?

Sussex is the first to leave the UK!

Transmissions from Sussex’s tag show that he was still in Ashdown Forest on the evening of the 15 June but the next signals revealed that he had hopped 167km (104 miles) across the English Channel and was in the Upper Normandy region of France. He is roughly 28km (18 miles) inland of the coast and currently in a wooded area north-east of the commune of Saint-Saëns. He is the first of our tagged Cuckoos to leave this spring!

Could Chris be next?

Chris, wo was first tagged in 2011 and who has been tracked on migration twice already, is currently south-east of Cavenham Pits, where he has been most of this summer. He is the only bird for which BTO have two years of data so it gives them a great opportunity to look at how similar or different his movements are from one year to the next – BTO know he left on his autumn migration relatively early compared to the other tagged cuckoos in previous years:

In 2011, he left Norfolk between the 3 and 5 of June and travelled to Sussex for a few days, before moving to the Netherlands by 17 June 2011. In 2012, Chris was the first of all the tagged birds to leave, reaching Belgium by 12 June. In fact, Chris has been the first bird to move from his summer location in each of the last two years of the project. The fact it hasn’t happened this year could be related to him settling in northern France this spring, before returning to the Brecks, meaning he arrived here late. Is he getting ready to move or will he hang around in the UK longer this year?

The other Cuckoos all still remain in their breeding locations. If previous patterns are repeated the latest to leave will remain until late July/early August before heading off on migration.

June 2013. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) have just launched the Cuckoo class of 2013, as part of their exciting research into the decline of this iconic bird, and they are already on their way to Africa. Sussex the Cuckoo was the first to leave on June 15 and he has now been joined by four other Cuckoos. There are now two birds in northern France, one in Belgium, one in the Netherlands and one in northern Italy: here.

6 thoughts on “British cuckoo migration research

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