Tracking a shorebird to the ends of the earth
First posted in the Center for Conservation Biology e-Newsletter, January 14, 2015
The journey begins in darkness in Virginia with an early morning flight departing from the Norfolk International Airport in late May. The air is humid, and the days have been hot along the mid-Atlantic Coast. The first leg of the trip is to Toronto, Canada.
Subsequent flights take me through the Prairie Provinces (with an overnight stay), and finally on to Yellowknife, Canada. Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, is where much of the logistical planning for the field season ahead takes place. The main focus of this collaboration between the Canadian Wildlife Service and The Center for Conservation Biology is the satellite tracking of whimbrels throughout their life cycle. The important task of rigging the satellite transmitters for deployment in the field takes place here in Yellowknife. The transmitters are placed in the carry-on luggage as they are irreplaceable if lost. The trip to Yellowknife has taken two days and nearly 3,000 miles are behind me at this point.
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