04/02/2022
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Tagged cuckoos on the move

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The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has revealed that a number of satellite-tagged Common Cuckoos are beginning to show signs of gearing up for spring migration.

After being largely sedentary for much of December, four of the seven cuckoos currently being monitored by the BTO have started to make movements in Central Africa.

An update from the BTO on 6 January showed that 'AJ' had moved 946 km north from Angola, where he has been for the past month, to an area of dense rainforest in southern Gabon. This represents the first leg of AJ's spring migration, and the BTO hopes to see him back in his natal Sherwood Forest in April.


The BTO hopes to see its tagged Common Cuckoos arriving back in the UK in April (Jonathan Rosborough).

'Victor II' has moved out of Gabon, departing on Christmas Day and flying 231 km north-east into the Republic of Congo, visiting an area he stopped off at during his autumn migration. 'JAC' also flew 195 km north-west in to Republic of Congo in early January.

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An update on 31 January from 'Ellis' showed that he had flown 1,609 km west from Cameroon to Ghana. This means he is the first of the tagged cuckoos to move into West Africa in 2022.

However, 'Daniel' appeared to be going the wrong way earlier in January. Tag data suggested he had flown 410 km south from Central African Republic into the south-eastern corner of Cameroon.

Keep up to date with the BTO's cuckoos and their movements at bto.org/cuckoos.