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Curlew Satellite Update

Curlew Satellite Update

During the week of May 6th we were able to attach 3 satellite transmitters to Long-billed Curlews breeding in the Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) southwest of Emmett, ID.

Here are some photos of the trapping and ‘transmittering’ process:

Transmitter, by H.Ware

Female “AX” shows off her brand new solar transmitter, aluminum USGS band, and green ‘flag’.

LBCU female bill measurements by Liz Urban

This female’s bill was too long for our calipers!

ready to release by H. Ware

Liz and Jay prepare to release our 2nd bird after attaching her transmitter. She made a beeline for her mate who was patiently guarding their nest.

To see some more photos of the capture process, check out the Idaho Statesman’s article and photo album.

After a week of waiting, we got our first batch of data points from the satellite! Here are two examples of the results we are seeing so far (Points displayed are those with 250m accuracy or more). These maps show the movement of two birds in our study area. These two happen to be a pair, thus the cluster of points in a similar area (around their nest).

We were interested to see that both birds seem to travel long distances to forage in agricultural lands near the ACEC. Also interesting is that many of the places they travel to forage are similar, although they are not likely to be traveling together since one bird must stay to incubate and protect the nest at all times.
It’s also interesting to note that bird “CA” is the male of the pair and is much more mobile than the female. This makes sense since the female is busy incubating during most of the day.

Right now we are calling birds after their green flag letters, but stay tuned for naming updates!

Bird CA first upload

Bird “CA”

Bird AX first upload

Bird “AX”

Look for more updates on bird movement soon!

Read other posts about our Curlew project by clicking the links below:

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