British cuckoos take their winter break – in the congo
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Monday 21 November 2011
Wish you were here... the five cuckoos ringed in East Anglia last summer and fitted with radio transmitters by the British Trust for Ornithology have all now crossed the Sahara desert and are residing in tropical Africa.
The detailed revelation of the birds' journeys has provided vital information about migratory routes and flyways to Africa for the first time.
Three of the birds, Kasper, Lyster and Chris, are in the Congo, their radio signals reveal, while the fourth, Martin, is in the Central African Republic, and the fifth, Clement, is in Nigeria.
Two of them have tied for the biggest distance covered – 8,500km (5,280 miles). Lyster, ringed near Marham, Norfolk, on May 25, travelled via Spain and is currently close to Ewo in the Congo. Clement, ringed at the BTO's reserve in Thetford, Norfolk, on May 19, went the same way and is close to Kaduna in Nigeria.
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