Cuckoos flying back from Africa to Britain


This video series from Britain is called Cuckoo Tracking.

From Wildlife Extra:

Bookmakers lay odds on arrival of tagged cuckoos

Bookmakers William Hill has teamed up with naturalist and Springwatch presenter, Chris Packham, and the British Trust For Ornithology (BTO) to offer odds on the arrival of the first cuckoo to migrate back to the UK from Africa to breed.

The joint project is called ‘The Great Cuckoo Race 2015’, and followers can get updates on the live tracking system they can find on the BTO website – www.bto.org/cuckoos.

Altogether there are 17 birds to watch, each carrying a high tech satellite tracking device to monitor their progress.

The furious flapping contest is building to a climax with Dudley, a 20/1 outsider from Sherwood Forest at the start of the race, in a commanding lead.

The goal of the cuckoo tagging project is to help raise awareness about the iconic birds and their plight.

Since tracking started in 2011, 17 cuckoos that have been tagged are still active, but 33 have either perished or been lost.

“Dudley was a real outsider to be the first bird back, but he’s soared into a strong lead and he will take some catching,” says William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

The latest signal from Dudley’s tracker put him on the border between Spain and France, just south of Bordeaux, while all of his rivals are still in Africa. ‘Chris the Cuckoo’ who is named after Chris Packham is unfortunately trailing behind at this stage.

“Chris the Cuckoo would need to fly like a superhero to win the race now,” says Ivan-Duke.

Cuckoos fly from West Africa, crossing over jungle, the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, continental Europe and the English Channel before making it back to the UK.

Dudley is now the odds-on 1/5 favourite to be the first cuckoo home.

Latest William Hill odds on The Great Cuckoo Race 2015 are: 1/5 Dudley; 10/1 Stanley; 10/1 David; 12/1 Derek; 12/1 Emsworthy; 20/1 Ash; 20/1 Hennah; 25/1 Chris; 33/1 Livingstone; 33/1 Jake; 50/1 Chester; 50/1 Fred; 100/1 BB; 100/1 Peter; 100/1 Skinner; 100/1 Waller; 100/1 Whortle.

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