Project Name: Southampton Island Shorebird project
Project Location: Southampton Island, Nunavut, Canada, East Bay Camp operated by Environment Canada
Correspondent researcher: Paul Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Researchers: Paul Smith, Grant Gilchrist, Ron Porter, Oliver Love, Lisa Kennedy
Bibliographic citation: Porter, R. & Smith, P.A. 2013. Techniques to improve the accuracy of location estimation using light-level geolocation to track shorebirds. Wader Study Group Bull.120(3): 147–158. (RutuEbm01457 analysis example p.156)
RutuEbm01457: A typical migration
06jul11 deployed Southampton, N45.3xW76.3
14aug11 left Southampton, 39 days later
15aug11 arrived Maine, USA near N43.8xW69.7
02sep11 left Maine, stayed 20 days
flight 4.8d, >4700km, MMS 41km/h, beamwinds
07sep11 arrived French Guiana, N4.9xW52.4
17sep11 left French Guiana, stayed 10 days
19sep11 arrived Maranao, Brazil, S1.3xW45.2
12may12 left Maranao, stayed 263 days
flight 3.6d, >5400km, MMS 62km/h, tailwinds
16may12 arrived Delaware Bay, USA N39.3xW75.4
31may12 left Delaware Bay, stayed 15 days
07sep11 arrived Southampton Island N45.3xW76.3
05jul12, geolocator recovered
RutuEbm21232: Elliptical migration
Here is shown a change to the Midwest flyway. Do all "Westward Winterers" use the Midwest flyway?
Why the eastward loop over the Atlantic Ocean?
With more recoveries we hope to answer these questions.
Route variability in Arenaria interpres of Southampton Island
Northbound routes are westerly, southbound routes are easterly. The circular migration takes advantage of favorable prevailing winds. The long oceanic flights have no indications of stops an route.
Project Name: Chukotka Shorebird Project
Correspondent researcher: Pavel Tomkovich firstname.lastname@example.org
Researchers: Pavel Tomkovich, Ron Porter, Egor Loktionov, Larry Niles
Bibliographic citation: Tomkovich P.S., Porter R.R., Loktionov E.Y. & L.J. Niles. 2013. Pathways and staging areas of Red Knots Calidris canutus rogersi breeding in southern Chukotka, Far Eastern Russia. Wader Study Group Bull. 120(3): 181–193.
ReknChu176_1112: Typical migration
01jul11 deployed Chukotka, N62.6xE177.1
31jul11 left Chukotka, 30 days later
31jul11 arrived Kamchatka, near N60.4xE163.3
09aug10 left Kamchatka, stayed 9 days
flightpath south around peninsula
10aug10 arrived west of Sakhalin, N54.5xE134.8
14aug10 left Sakhalin region, stayed 4 days
16aug10 arrived Eastern Bohai Sea, stayed 6 days then moves west to Bohai Bay
10sep10 left Bohai Bay, stayed 18 days
flight 4.8d, 5800km, MMS 50km/h, mixed winds
15sep10 arrived Australia, near S11.8xE133.2
stays only 4 hours! relocates westward into Carpentaria Bay near S16.5xE141.3
01nov10 left Carpentaria, stayed 46 days
05nov10 arrived New Zealand
19feb11 Resighted in Kaipara Harbour
27mar11 left New Zealand, stayed 143 days
flight 6.9d, 10,100km !! MMS 61km/h, favorable winds
03apr11 arrived Bohai Bay, near N39.0xE119.2
27&28apr11 Resighted near N39.0xE118.4
05may11 left Bohai Bay, stayed 32 days
Relocated west to the coast near Panjin, N40.5xE122.2
20may11 left Panjin area, stayed 15 days
24may11 arrived Chukotka
07jul11 geolocator recovered, 44 days later
Route variability in Calidris canutus of Chukotka
Northbound routes are easterly, southbound routes are westerly. The long oceanic flights have no indications of stops en route. Of these 3, two wintered in New Zealand, one in Carpentaria Bay, Australia.
These maps were donated by researchers using various analysis methods. The project name, description, and principal contact information are listed by Species. For methods information refer to their published works in the bibliography. Each map title is coded to identify Species, Project, Bird Identification and Years covered by the track.
(example: PagpKwa2072_1213 is PacificGoldenPloverKwajaleinBird#2072_2012to2013).
If you wish more information about the maps or additional tracks the researcher may have, please contact the principal researchers. Citation for use of the maps is listed in the project decription.
Information on geolocation projects may also be obtained by emailing email@example.com
Project Name: Tracking Migrations of Pacific Golden Plovers at Kwajalein Atoll
Correspondent researcher: Wally Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Researchers: Johnson, O.W., Porter, R.R., Fielding, L., Weber, M.F., Gold, R.S., Goodwill, R.H., Johnson, P.M., Bruner, A.E., Brusseau, P.A., Brusseau, N.H., Hurwitz, K.
Bibliographic citation: Johnson, O.W., 2015. Tracking Pacific Golden-Plovers Pluvialis fulva: transoceanic migrations between non-breeding grounds in Kwajalein, Japan and Hawaii and breeding grounds in Alaska and Chukotka. Wader Study122(1): 4–11.
PagpKwa2072_12: the Typical Migration
28mar12 deployed Kwajalein Atoll, N8.7xE167.7
18apr12 left Kwajalein, 21 days later
21apr12 arrived Japan, near N35.7xE140.9
11may12 left Japan, stayed 19 days
14may12 arrived Alaska,
incubation signals 21 to 28 days
19aug12 left Alaska, stayed 97 days
flight 6.7d, 6000km, MMS38km/h, headwinds
26aug12 arrived Kwajalein
21mar13, geolocator recovered, 207 days later
PagpKwa14597: Migration Variant
This Kwajalein migration cycle changes to include a short Chukotka stop of 1 to 4 days northbound, and a diversion at the end of the southbound migration at Enewetak Atoll of duration 17days.
Flight weather southbound does not explain this diversion. Is it a navigation error? Why return to Kwajalein? Why not stay at Enewetak?
Route variability in Pluvialis fulva of Kwajalein Atoll:
Northbound routes are westerly, southbound routes are easterly. The circular migration takes advantage of favorable prevailing winds. The long oceanic flights have no indications of stops en route.
Around the globe a "eureka" moment happened in 2009, when the New York Times
reported the success of Prof. Bridget Stuchbury
in Canada. Her successful deployment of lighter-than-ever geolocators on purple martins broadcast that finally there was an instrument small enough for waders.
In a short while we were all aware that the first tests on shorebirds were in fact underway, on godwits
. Now any researcher who could reliably retrap their target bird could learn in one season what previously took years of study, expeditions to remote places, and cartloads of money.
Geolocators can reveal not only locations, but also flight paths, weather/flight interactions, flight speeds, day/night flight patterns, incubation patterns, movements among wintering grounds, new stopover sites, layover time at different stopovers, time spent wandering, and if that's not enough, whether birds frequent open or brushy habitat!
In conjunction wit
h wet/dry sensors
, a picture emerges of time spent foraging, timing of departures and arrivals, direct flights and coastal hopping. Even reactions to capture may be revealed!
If many geolocators from the same group are retrieved one can learn how varied these behaviors are among the individuals in the community. How many activities and places do they all share? Did they all depart simultaneously? Take the same route?
The information can validate model results (e.g. checking probabilities of detection at stopover sites in a survival model), and guide feather isotope analyses (where the feather grew becomes known), and even describe what the prevalent weather at the site might be.
In short, what's to be learned is nothing short of amazing, and at a most reasonable cost
However, one must be able to reliably retrap the same bird, or one risks wasting all effort and needlessly hurting birds. The first step should always be a flagging study to see how faithful the birds are to the trapping site, and to refine trapping methods.
In future, when a remote reading capability is developed, just sneaking a receiver near the bird to read the data may be enough. Until then, the species and deployment sites will be limited. A general discussion on designing geolocator studies with waders is found in the Wader Study Group Bulletin (Clark, et al.
2010, issue 117-3).
For very good scientific information regarding geolocation principals, methods, and photos of deployments
refer to the BAS
by James Fox.
The Wader Study Group is well schooled in habits and habitat of waders, trapping methods and resighting, and in being practical, so the Wader Study Group is perfectly suited for geolocator use. Waders, by virtue of their open habitat and shoreline preference, do indeed produce almost perfect light signals on the ground and in flight (compared, for example, to thrushes), and provide excellent subjects for individual and group studies.
On this page we will publish a series of short articles to illuminate geolocator details and experiences of researchers. We hope these documents will be a great resource for you, with advice for you on attachment designs, materials testing, known dangers to birds, calibration, trapping, test aviaries, information to record, weather sources, using software, interpretation, refining locations, wet/dry sensor use, arctic signals, and lots more.
The first articles, Basic Geolocation and Calibration, will deal with the very basic concepts, and intend to introduce the nomenclature in a way that researchers from many countries and languages will find useful. Readers should be aware that there are advanced methods of analysis which are beyond the current scope of the series. Keep checking this site for updates and new content.
New York Times, Friday, 13 February, 2009
Science, 13 February, 2009, Tracking Long-Distance Songbird Migration by Using Geolocators, Bridget Stutchbury, et.al. of York University, Toronto, Canada.
Spring 2008, Jesse Conklin & Phil Battley, ref. Wader Study Group Bulletin #117(1) 2010
Spring 2008, Raymond Klaassen and Peter Olsson, Lund University, Netherlands
This sensor is included in the MK10 and some other BAS geolocators.
Latest pricing about $200 per geolocator plus accessories.
as well as analysis details and instructions for use of Bastrak.
BAS, British Antarctic Survey, www.birdtracker.co.uk
Geolocators are an increasingly popular technology for studying the movements of individual birds. The aims of this new project are twofold:
- to communicate the latest advances in field and analytical methods with a specific focus on shorebird conservation and research;
- to build an archive of tracks of tagged shorebirds.
Read more about geolocators in this Perspective
article that was published in April 2016 in Wader Study
Watch this space as this project develops...