After a seemingly long period of “busy silence”, it is time to update the story of our five satellite-tracked African Cuckoos. Let us now consider what has happened since the last blog.
Cuckoos #94 and #96 are still within the Jos area. The two birds have spent most of their time, presumably foraging and breeding, between the Amurum Forest Reserve and neighboring villages and settlements.
Cuckoo #95 stopped transmitting in mid-June. The failure of transmission is most likely due to failure of the transmitters. This is because efforts to find the bird from the place of last transmission were not successful. Also, the device transmitted for a short period about 2 weeks later from the same general area. It therefore seems that this individual may be flying about with a faulty transmitter.
Cuckoo #97 has been the most adventurous individual. After spending a few weeks around the APLORI /Laminga/Kerker areas, in mid-June it flew towards Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state where it spent about 1 week before moving towards the border of Plateau and Kaduna state to spend an additional 2 days. At the end of June, the bird then returned to the APLORI/Laminga/Kerker areas, stayed until mid-July before departed an area close to Toro, Bauchi State. On the 24 of September it had moved to another location about 100 km away.
Cuckoo #98 stayed within the APLORI/Laminga/Kerker area until mid-August before moving to an area close to Toro, Bauchi State.
Considering that this project started just at about the beginning of the rains, and also that two cuckoos are still around the general area where they were trapped, I speculate that the cuckoos may begin to show longer and clearer movements at the end of the rainy season in the Jos area. Also, given that Diederick cuckoos and Klaas’s cuckoos are currently still heard calling around the Amurum Forest Reserve, the prolonged stay of the two individuals may be in response to resources that are still abundant.