Michael McCarthy, award-winning Environment Editor of the Independent, reports on an important initiative tracking the movements of cuckoos. He writes:

It took centuries to solve previous cuckoo mysteries, such as how they got their eggs into other birds’ nests, and how the cuckoo chick survived alone. Yet the final enigma, of where they spend their time when summer is over, is likely to be solved in the next few months – thanks to satellite tracking technology…

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They could be the members of a boy band – Clement, Martin, Lyster, Kasper and Chris. But they’re cuckoos, and together they’re about to reveal the last secret of one of our most mysterious birds: where they go in the winter…

Also go to www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking

Where you can sponsor one of the birds and keep up to date on where he is.

Chris, the clerk’s sponsored cuckoo, after a worrying time when his tracking equipment went silent, is now in Italy. Having spent some time near Florence, on July 11 he took a NNE path and is now south of Venice, in the Po Delta. This is an important stopping off and feeding point for migrating birds.