Track the birds’ movements on the map to the right—open the map and click on a point for location details.
***The reporting system is currently experiencing technical difficulties, the map will be updated with more recent dates as soon as possible.
GPS and GSM (cell phone) technologies are not new—but they have only lately been combined into a new transmitter that aids wildlife research.
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.
So far in 2013, four juvenile female Red-tailed Hawks have been tagged with transmitters. “Fargo” (turquoise points on the map) was caught on Aug. 26, 2013 and so far has remained local, hanging out in various parks in San Francisco—her points on the map are turquoise. “Guess” (green) was tagged on Aug. 30, 2013 and traveled north and then east around the bay. "Harley" (yellow) was caught on Sept. 12, 2013 and has headed north fast! "Ilianna" (blue) was caught Sept. 13 and headed to the east bay after a few days in Marin. Stay tuned for updates!
In 2012, four juvenile female Red-tailed Hawks and one juvenile female Peregrine Falcon were tracked using GSM transmitters. Of them, only Augusta and Delilah have been heard from recently, the other three were last heard from in autumn 2012.