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We're Tracking Migratory Birds!


The MOTUS team at work at the Pitilla site. Photo by Freddy Quesada

The first MOTUS station in Área de Conservación Guanacaste went live on October 16, and we are eagerly awaiting the first record of a tagged migratory bird passing by the station! MOTUS stations are automated receiver towers with directional antennas that constantly scan the skies for radio signals. A bird outfitted with a special transmitting “nanotag” can be recorded by these towers, giving researchers the ability to track small, migratory animals such as songbirds, shorebirds, bats, and even certain large insects. The data from this site will complement our ongoing research on the habitat and dietary needs of neotropical migratory birds while they are in their non-breeding season in ACG. The station, which is located at the Estación Biológica Pitilla, was funded by the Willistown Conservation Trust, Birds Canada, and several individual donors. Our thanks to them for making this possible and to our on-the-ground crew of Ernesto Carman, María de la Paz Angulo Irola, Natalie Sánchez, Frank Joyce, Petrona Ríos, Calixto Moraga, Manuel Ríos and Freddy Quesada. If you want to follow our migratory bird detections, you can do so here.

Installing the solar panels that will power the station. Photo by Petrona Ríos.