I have been really excited to receive a couple of emails from the BTO (The British Trust for Ornithology), this last couple of days. The first was requesting to use one of my Cuckoo pictures in the Trust's membership magazine which of course I have agreed to. Cuckoos are a fascinating bird, which as most people know, have an interesting lifestyle, laying their eggs in the nests of much smaller species who then treat the single chick as their own. The foster parents can be tiny in comparison to their massive chick yet they still continue to care for it. More interesting though is migratory behaviour of these birds. It has long been known that they travel back and forward to Africa, the males first followed then by females later in the summer and finally the youngsters, all alone to a place they obviously have never been to before....... how do they do that?
The BTO have fitted satelite tracking devices to five cuckoos to discover when they depart, the route they take and where they end up. One has already arrived in Africa and yet it wasn't thought they left the UK until later this month so this is ground breaking news. The cuckoo that I had been watching disappeared from the area at least a month ago so one would suspect that he has also started his migration. How fascinating, I wonder where he is?
You can follow the 5 cuckoos progress here and read all about them. It is very interesting and I will be checking in regularly.