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, 17 August 2013

BTO cuckoos – Mostly in Africa now

Better weather this year has been a boost for migrating cuckoos

August 2013. Since 2011, the BTO have been fitting satellite tags to Cuckoos in different parts of the UK with the aim of finding out what Cuckoos do once they leave for the winter months, and the information that these intrepid birds have provided has been a real eye-opener. Before 2011 the wintering location of British Cuckoos was unknown but these birds have shown that our Cuckoos spend the winter in and around the Congo Rainforest, arriving there in September and leaving again, via West Africa, in February.

With the aim of getting as much information as possible, the BTO have added a new group of Cuckoos to the project. Birds from Devon, Sussex, East Anglia and Scotland have joined those that made the long journey back to the UK this spring, one of which was first tagged in May 2011.

Where are they now?
On the 6 August, the cuckoo known as Derek became the tenth Cuckoo to transmit from Africa, Chance revealed he had made it on the 8 August and Skinner on the 9 August. Derek is currently in Nigeria. Skinner who took the same westerly route, is in Mali while Chance, who took the middle route from Italy to Libya, is slightly further north in Niger.

Ryder is re-attempting his desert crossing from Morocco, locations indicate he was over Mauritania and about half way across the desert.

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