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Customers at Vine House Farm Cafe in Deeping St Nicholas helped name a male cuckoo who is being monitored on his migration flight to Africa

A male cuckoo will be monitored by scientists during his long migration journey across the world, following concerns over the large decline in species numbers.

Customers of Vine House Farm Shop and Cafe in Deeping St Nicholas were recently given the opportunity to select a name for the bird, with Cuthbert being the runaway winner.

He will be released today (Wednesday, June 12), to begin the lengthy trip to Africa — and he forms part of a research project backed by the shop’s sister company, Vine House Farm Bird Foods.

Cuthbert the Cuckoo has been sponsored by Vine House Farm. Photo: Vine House Farm
Cuthbert the Cuckoo has been sponsored by Vine House Farm. Photo: Vine House Farm

Cuthbert’s journey can be tracked on the Vine House Farm website — with a chance for everyone to follow his fascinating journey in real-time.

Lucy Taylor, who is the managing director for Vine House, said: “We’ve recently started an official partnership with the BTO, with this seeing us support the organisation in several ways and including financially.

“We’ve done this for a number of reasons, but central to it is that we want to support like-minded organisations who share our values around wildlife conservation and especially for birds.

“For this particular initiative of sponsoring the satellite tagging of a cuckoo, it’s a very tangible way for us to get behind the BTO’s vital work and therefore help raise public awareness about the plight of this once more common and fascinating species of bird.”

Cuthbert with a tracker. Photo: Vine House Farm
Cuthbert with a tracker. Photo: Vine House Farm

Since 2011, scientists from the British Trust for Ornithology Cuckoo Tracking Study programme have been trying to collect data to will help create a better understanding of the migration routes and wintering grounds of cuckoos in a bid to reverse the population decline.

Dr Chris Hewson, lead scientist for the BTO Cuckoo Tracking Project, said: “It is only because of the generous support that we receive from Vine House Farm and our other Cuckoo sponsors, that we have been able to establish how the different migration routes used by these birds contribute to the declines seen in their breeding populations. While there are some important questions still to address, our research is already informing conservation action.”

For more information on how to help, visit the British Trust for Ornithology website.

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