At Cape Fear Audubon’s Dec. 13 meeting, Marae West and Evan Buckland, researchers from UNCW’s Danner Lab, will share their latest findings on coastal bird migration in the region. The program will begin at 7 p.m. at Halyburton Park Event Center, 4099 S. 17th Street in Wilmington. For Zoom registration, go to audubon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIldOqspjsqE93n5tqRDjsanWioWdKYPfsq.
Last spring, staff from Audubon North Carolina and Danner Lab researchers installed a Motus tower on Lea Island. Standing 20 feet tall, the tower’s antennae detect radio signals from any bird with a radio tag that flies within 9 miles of the island. Lea Island is an undeveloped barrier island south of Topsail Beach, part of Audubon’s coastal sanctuary network and an officially designated Important Bird Area. The new tower now connects the island to the global Motus network.
The presenters will also detail the journey from building and installing the tower on Lea Island and how data is key to understanding bird migration. “
“Birds connect our coastal sanctuaries in North Carolina to places across the hemisphere,” notes Lindsay Addison, coastal biologist at Audubon NC. “This tower will give us the details, letting us know when a bird that’s traveled from, say, Hudson Bay or South America has stopped over.”
Motus is especially critical in studying smaller birds fitted with nanotags, tiny radio tracking devices as light as an aspirin tablet. Nanotags provide an alternative to the heavier satellite radio transmitters researchers use to track movements of larger species such as hawks and owls. Data from nanotags is first received by a ground-based transmitter. When a radio tagged bird flies nearby, it sends a ping to the tower. The data is automatically uploaded to the Internet, where anyone can view it. “
Motus towers are the only automated radio tracking technology that allows for migratory data to be collected over vast distances and for a wide variety of species of birds, bats, and insects,” says Marae West, PhD candidate at UNCW’s Danner Lab. “Our lab is excited to be a part of this growing network, which is helping us better understand the ecology and movements of birds.”
The Lea Island tower joins Motus towers in Head Island and Masonboro Island. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has installed towers at wildlife refuges on the northeastern coast of the state. North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds over the last several decades. The growing Motus network can help gather important data on the movement of birds, ultimately helping us better understand and protect them throughout their life cycle.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.