Augusta's Cell Phone Transmitter
Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
In 2012, the GGRO is able to use brand-new technology to help us track bird movements. On Friday, August 23 we put out a GSM (cell phone) transmitter on a female juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, nicknamed Augusta. This device utilizes a GPS device, similar to a hand-held or car GPS unit, and uses cell phone networks to e-mail us the GPS points of Augusta’s locations. A solar cell recharges the battery, so the unit can function for up to two years. The unit is a larger, backpack-style unit, not a tail-mount as are the traditional GGRO telemetry units. However, the unit can only report 2–4 times per day (depending on battery power and sun exposure). This is very new technology and has only just come onto the market, so GGRO is on the cutting edge of tracking technology.