Wednesday, 28 December 2011

GPS trackers find migrating cuckoos in same spot

Scientists amazed after five migrating cuckoos fitted with GPS trackers meet up in the same spot in Africa

Scientists have been left astonished after five cuckoos who headed south from Britain for the winter have congregated in the same little-known part of Africa.

British conservationists decided to track their movements to find out more about the birds' lifestyles following concerns about their dwindling numbers.

After leaving East Anglia in June, the birds - Clement, Kasper, Martin, Chris and Lyster - flew thousands of miles apart as they made their way to warmer climes.

Three of the birds, Chris, Martin and Kasper, flew down through Italy and straight across the Sahara desert.

The other two, Clement and Lyster, went to Spain and down the Atlantic edge of the continent, more than 1,000 miles to the west.

Yet now it's been discovered they are all now relatively close, in the Congo rainforest, despite having travelled around 3,000 miles south.

Incredibly, three are about as close to each other as they were when they were caught in Norfolk and Suffolk in May and June.

Experts said their journey was fraught with danger with crossing the Sahara was one of the major sources of mortality for many migrants.

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