Track the birds’ movements on the map to the right—open the map and click on a point for location details.

**The first generation of these units (placed on raptors between August 2012 and September 2013) are experiencing technical difficulties, and may not come back online. The units used from December 2013 onward have been updated and improved.

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.

We are now in our fourth season of using GSM technology to track Red-tailed Hawks. The table below shares some of what we've learned so far—check back on this page soon for more updates!

Name

Species

Date Caught

Age

Sex

General Movements

Map Icon Color

Delilah

RTHA

11/21/2012

juvenile

female

Stayed in Bay area until June 2013, then traveled north to Walla Walla, WA, before heading back down to Bend, OR

white

Fargo

RTHA

8/26/2013

juvenile

female

Stayed in San Francisco; recovered by Animal Control and died en route to Humane Society.  Tested positive for rodenticide

turquoise

Harley

RTHA

9/12/2013

juvenile

female

Flew nearly 200 miles north in three days, last reporting north-east of Redding

yellow

Juanita

RTHA

12/4/2013

juvenile

female

Spent her first winter in a neighborhood in Menlo Park; moved north with spring and last reported near the Sonoma Baylands

pink

Kenya

RTHA

12/12/2013

adult

female

Wintered in Point Reyes before flying north to Klamath Falls in spring 2014, where she stayed until her unit stopped reporting

orange

Lupine

RTHA

9/1/2014

juvenile

female

Circumnavigated the Sierra Nevada; wintered in Oregon near Klamath; returned to Bay area in spring; finally settled in Central Valley just west of Knight’s Landing

green

Mills

RTHA

9/15/2015

juvenile

female

Travelled north to spend the winter in southern Oregon near Roseburg; moved south along the Mendocino coast in spring before going back to the Roseburg area

purple

More information about GSM transmitters (PDF) >>


Contact Information

Chris Briggs
cbriggs@parksconservancy.org