A Tagged Cuckoo Has Made a 50,000-Mile Journey in 5 Years and Just Returned

He is the first tagged cuckoo to survive five complete migrations with his tag still functioning. And you can follow his journey mile by mile.

Image credit: British Turst for Ornitology

After five years and a staggering 50,000 miles, Suffolk Cuckoo PJ has once again returned from Africa to his breeding grounds in the King’s Forest, Suffolk, the British Turst for Ornitology reports.

The bird, which has become kind of an online star, has completed its migratory journey between Africa and England for the fifth time since a satellite transmitter was attached to it in June 2016 at King’s Forest in Suffolk.

In this time span, the tiny animal flew over the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mouintain of Morocco, and the French and Spanish Pyrenees ten times.

PJ was named in memory of Pamela Joy Miller who passed on her passion for birds to her nephews and nieces and their children – now all her family can follow PJ’s journey and think of Pam. Credit: British Turst for Ornitology

The trust also reports that the cuckoo was one year old when it was tagged and is turning six this summer. This means he is approaching the age record of tagged cuckoos in the UK, which is six years and eleven months.

The project was orginally launched to unravel what may have been behind the decline in the cuckoo population on the British Isles, where the number of cuckoos laying eggs has fallen by more than two-thirds (almost by three-quarters in England) over the past twenty-three years.

PJ will stay in England until early July before beginning his journey back to Africa once again. You can follow it all here.


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