As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Summer is on its way! Cuckoos heading back towards the UK from Africa

Cuckoos have left their winter grounds
February 2013. For many, the song of the Cuckoo is the sign that summer is here. If this is the case then, according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), summer is on its way back.

Scientists at the BTO have spent the winter keeping a watchful eye on five very special Cuckoos. All five have been fitted with satellite tags that relay information approximately every two days to the BTO headquarters in Thetford, Norfolk, opening a door into their lives away from their breeding grounds in the UK.

Cuckoos heading back
Having spent the last four months feeding along river valleys in the mighty Congo Rainforest, maybe sharing their winter location with gorillas and African Grey Parrots, three of the five are on their way back. Welsh Cuckoo, David, was the first to move. On 30 January, he was 980km (608 miles) north of his winter location, in the Central African Republic. He has since travelled another 300km (186 miles) west and is now in a remote patch of forest in southern Cameroon.

Chance, the Scottish Cuckoo, followed shortly after, overtook David and is now, as of 25 February, in Ghana, at the northern tip of Lake Volta. The third Cuckoo, Lloyd, made his move on the morning of the 19 February, travelling 204km (126 miles) north-west of his wintering location. He is still south of the Equator but could cross it any day now.


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