British cuckoos arrive in Congo

This video from England says about itself:

21 Aug 2013

Discover more about the story of cuckoos on Dartmoor and hear about an exciting project that will be tracking their migration to Africa.

From Wildlife Extra:

BTO cuckoos now in Congo Rainforest

Cuckoos have reached their wintering grounds

October 2013. Since the last update there has been a flurry of activity as the BTO Cuckoos have moved further south. The cuckoo called Nick’s tag has not been heard from for a while but regular transmissions are still coming in from all the others. There are now five Cuckoos in the heart of the Congo Rainforest; Chris, Waller, David, Livingstone and Tor.


Chris is now in the area in Congo that he has spent most of the last two mid-winter periods, close to Congo’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He arrived here on 26 September, just a day later than he arrived at this location last year.


Waller has travelled south to the DRC and for a short time was our most southerly Cuckoo. He is only 115km (71 miles) to the east of Chris’s location (and a little south), with the Congo River running between the two positions.

David – Further south

David has also been busy. From his position in Sudan he flew over the Central African Republic to arrive in the Salong National Park in DRC by 5 October. He’s roughly 160km (100 miles) north of the area he wintered in last year, having arrived on 24 October 2012. This wintering location is one of the furthest south we have seen from our Cuckoos since the beginning of the project. Only a small number of tagged Cuckoos have flown that far south, including David in 2012, Lloyd in 2012 and Kasper in 2011.


Livingstone has recently joined the list, however, heading directly south from his location in the Central African Republic. By 6 October he was close to the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in northern Congo. From here he travelled further south, joining David and our other very southerly wintering Cuckoos.

Other cuckoos

Just further north of those five in the rainforest, Skinner is close, by on the outer edges. Having backtracked to Niger, by 3 October he had carried on to central Nigeria. A series of locations later that evening show him continuing on into Cameroon, continuing to travel south during the 5 and 6 October. His most recent location on 8 October places him 88km (55 miles) north of Cameroon’s border with Congo. It’s likely it won’t be too long before he heads into the depths of the forest too.

The latest movements include Patch’s movement of 1000km (600 miles) from Chad to Cameroon. At first a signal indicated he was in DRC but we were surprised to see that further signals received on 9 October showed that Patch had moved from DRC to Cameroon, a distance of over 1000km (620 miles), in less than an hour! Clearly this was very odd. As these signals in Cameroon continued, it was clear to see that the location pinpointed in DRC was an error location and that Patch was most definitely in Cameroon. He will have moved here directly from Chad (and not via DRC), which is a distance of over 1000km (600 miles).

Whortle covered 730km (450 miles) southwards within Nigeria and yesterday morning was in the Cross River region of southern Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Sussex and Ken are still both in Central African Republic. Chance and Derek, in northern Nigeria, and BB, in southern Chad, are currently our most northerly Cuckoos. We have heard from all the Cuckoos in the last ten days except for Nick. His last location was on 24 September from Cameroon. Could this mean he is feeding up and getting ready to make his move south? Keep an eye on the blogs for more information next week.

Take a look at the blogs and maps at

How Birds Cooperate to Defeat Cuckoos: here.

7 thoughts on “British cuckoos arrive in Congo

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