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Bird Migration Studies

Subject: Bird Migration Studies
From: "Ray" musicbar01
Date: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:44 pm (PDT)
Greetings All,

Below, I've copied/pasted an announcement from the American Radio 
Relay League, a respected amateur ("ham") radio organization.  This 
announcement has inspired a few thoughts on how I might combine my 
nature recording with my amateur radio hobby.  I'm posting it here 
hoping that others may also be interested.

If you're new to radio tracking and would like more information on 
how it can benefit your nature recording, please email me.  I'll do 
my best to help.

Ray Barley, WO2C
Pittsburgh, PA


Wildlife researchers are asking radio amateurs and VHF monitoring 
enthusiasts to help listen for radio tag signals from migrating 
birds. A non-profit organization in New Mexico wants to find the 
wintering grounds of the burrowing owl, which summers in the 
grasslands of Kirtland Air Force Base.

"Twenty-eight of the birds have been fitted with pulsing radio-tags 
near 172 MHz, and attempts will be made to track them by aircraft to 
see if they go east toward Texas, west to California, or south to 
Mexico," says ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) 
Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV. "It's likely that aircraft will lose 
contact with most of the owls, so volunteers throughout southwestern 
states and northern Mexico are being asked to listen for them."

Moell said July 25 that the birds "will start moving any day now."

Meanwhile, researchers at two Toronto universities are radiotagging 
20 young purple martins at a breeding colony in Edinboro, 

"These beautiful birds are expected to start flying south in mid-
August, probably to winter grounds in South America," Moell 
says. "Hams in southern states from Texas through Florida are asked 
to be listening and possibly detect the flyovers."

He says those living in the migration zones and can receive 172 MHz 
signals can help. "If you have radio-direction finding equipment for 
VHF, so much the better," he adds.

Moell's "Homing In" Web site <> has much more 
information on these projects. The site includes frequencies and 
equipment suggestions as well as a descriptions of the unique 
characteristics of wildlife tags to help listeners distinguish them 
from other signals they may encounter at 172 MHz. The site also 
tells how to join the BIOTRACKERS mailing list for the latest 
updates and discussions of wildlife-tracking topics.

"Microphones are not ears,
Loudspeakers are not birds,
A listening room is not nature."
Klas Strandberg

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