Track the birds’ movements on the map to the right—open the map and click on a point for details!
GPS and GSM (cell phone) technologies are not new—but they have only lately been combined to aid wildlife research. GGRO has placed GSM transmitter units on four female juvenile Red-tailed Hawks and one juvenile female Peregrine Falcon caught in the Marin Headlands.
This device utilizes GPS technology that is similar to a hand-held or car GPS unit, and uses cell phone networks to e-mail us the GPS points of the hawk’s locations. A solar cell recharges the battery, so the unit can function for up to two years.
GSM units don’t provide as many locations per day as our traditional radiotelemetry research, which can track a bird constantly throughout the day. However, with this unit, we can get data for a much longer period of time. Location data for a hawk may not be available if she is out of cell range, or if cloud cover or other impediments block a good GPS reading.
“Augusta” was fitted with the first transmitter on August 25, 2012. On October 25th, GGRO outfitted a second female juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with a GSM transmitter, dubbed “Big Bird” due to her large size. On November 18, the most recent transmitter was put out, on “Claire” followed quickly by “Delilah” on November 21 and most recently “Evelyn” the Peregrine on November 24! Note that Augusta’s points are red, Big Bird’s points are blue, Claire’s are yellow, Delilah’s are white, and Evelyn’s are green—the largest icon for each is the most recent.