Your chance to sponsor a satellite-tagged study cuckoo - for £3,000

BTO cuckoo, Coo

BTO cuckoo, Coo - Credit: Archant

Bird lovers are being offered the chance to play their part in a scientific migration study by paying £3,000 to name a new study cuckoo.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has been running its cuckoo migration study for five years, with the birds being tracked via a satellite tag to their winter nesting grounds in Africa and back to the UK.

The latest tranche of feathered recruits have now been tagged, and will be making contributions to the study for the rest of their lives.

But two of the cuckoos have been left without an essential part of their study profile - a name.

Now the trust is offering the chance to name the cuckoos - currently known as 161322 and 161324 - at a cost of £3,000 a bird.

Both come with a Norfolk pedigree, with 161324 tagged in Thetford Forest, and 161322 on the Norfolk Broads.

Thomas Broom from the BTO, said it was 'an exciting time' for cuckoo 131622: ''He will soon be heading off on his first tagged migration from the UK and, being the only Cuckoo tagged in the Norfolk Broads this year, it'll be very interesting to see where he goes once he leaves the country.'

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Of the 50 plus birds tagged by the BTO since the project started, only a small number have been seen or photographed after having their tags fitted. 161322 is one of them.

Ten days after being tagged, on June 21, 161322 was photographed by local photographer Norman Wyatt at Hardley Flood; the site where he was originally tagged on the June 11.

All the cuckoos in the BTO study are available to sponsor for £10.

If you're interested in sponsoring or naming a cuckoo visit www.bto.org, or email cuckoos@bto.org

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