Wildlife By Jon Ivan-Duke

Chris Packham Backing Cuckoo In Epic Journey

Bookmakers William Hill have linked up with BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham to mark the migration of cuckoos back to Britain from Africa, by betting on the flying race.

 

Cuckoos were tagged with state of the art tracking devices by the British Trust For Ornithology (BTO) in 2011 to investigate migration patterns between Africa and the UK, and one was named after Packham - ‘Chris The Cuckoo’.

 

Chris Packham, Springwatch presenter and President of the BTO: “It’s all about the survival of the Cuckoo, they’re in critical decline, so every bird that makes it back is a real bonus. Migration is a game of life and death and Chris is the veteran in the field, the longest surviving of the tagged cuckoos and I’ll be cheering him on.”

 

William Hill’s adventurous bird betting market is a first for the company. Spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: “Chris The Cuckoo is an outsider at 33/1 but it’s a shot in the dark for us to create betting on such a unique event. The migration route is full of peril and Chris must be doing something right to live as long as he has.”

 

Since tracking started in 2011, 17 birds that have been tagged are still active, but 33 have either perished or been lost.

 

Cuckoos fly from areas of dense jungle in West Africa, over the desert lands of the Sahara, picking the best route over the Mediterranean Sea before making the journey across Europe and over the English Channel back to the UK.

 

The betting market for ‘The Great Cuckoo Race’ can be found on William Hill’s site: http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/g/822653/Winner.html

 

And their live progress can be followed in real-time on the BTO website (www.bto.org/cuckoos). The cuckoos are just beginning their migration back to the UK from Africa.

 

 

William Hill Betting Odds - The Great Cuckoo Race:

2/1 Favourite David (1st in 2013, but plum last in 2014 – in a great position to replicate his success from 2013)

4/1                  Emsworthy (Newly tagged this year and good chance of winning)

4/1                  Jake (Newly tagged this year and good chance of winning)

5/1                  Hennah (Quick off the mark and not far behind the leader)

8/1                  Ash (Quick off the mark and not far behind the leader)

8/1                  Derek (Second-last home in 2014, but making great progress this year)

14/1                Livingstone (Joint 5th last year and chasing the leaders)

20/1                Dudley (Newly tagged this year and currently in mid-division)

20/1                Stanley (Newly tagged this year and currently in mid-division)

33/1                Chris (Named after Chris Packham, 2nd in 2014 and the longest surviving tagged cuckoo)

50/1                Chester (Newly tagged bird this year, but struggling near the back of the pack)

66/1                Fred (Newly tagged bird, lagging behind in last position in the pack)

100/1              BB (Joint 3rd last year and 2nd in 2013, but currently lost in the jungle)

100/1              Peter (Newly tagged bird, but currently lost in the jungle)

100/1              Skinner (Won the race in 2014, but currently lost in the jungle)

100/1              Waller (Joint 5th last year, but currently lost in the jungle)

100/1              Whortle (Joint 3rd last year, but currently lost in the jungle)

 

Tweet which Cuckoo you think will win - #TheGreatCuckooRace