success: Update on geolocator study
Rouge River Bird Observatory was established in 1992 to explore an
understudied area of research: the importance of urban natural areas to
birds. In our increasingly urbanizing world, habitat fragments in
metropolitan areas are coming critical to the survival of birds.
Understanding these ecosystems and how birds use them is essential for
does more than support RRBO research. The skills learned by
RRBO banders lay the foundation for successful careers, creating a
ripple effect that greatly magnifies your contribution.
Here's an example:
joined the RRBO crew in 2001. He had just graduated with a chemical
engineering degree, and was pondering his next move. His brother Andy,
a long-time RRBO volunteer, convinced Mark to accompany him while he
engaged in some RRBO research. Mark's experience at RRBO was a
"The opportunity I had volunteering at RRBO taught me not only the
valuable and highly sought-after skill of bird banding, but also helped
me decide to pursue a career in avian research," Mark told us recently.
He went on to get a graduate degree in natural resources, and is now
a Terrestrial Ecologist at PRBO Conservation Science
(formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory) in California.
have recaptured two Gray Catbirds that were
-- devices that measure light levels
wherever the bird has traveled. These devices were placed on 13
catbirds last year, prior to their southbound migration. We have been
able to download data from the devices, and once analyzed we should be
able to determine each bird's migration route and wintering area --
somewhere in Mexico or Central America!
of these birds was sponsored by a donor. We will be placing more
geolocators on catbirds this fall. Sponsorships will be automatically
available to any donor at the $300
level or above, first come, first served.
We have seen at least one other catbird carrying a device that we have
not recaptured yet. You can read about our initial success at
recapturing our first bird and check out photos at the RRBO blog Net Results.
|Featured milestone: Oldest
|This year, I'll be
featuring species that represent RRBO milestones.
We recapture many birds that
we previously banded here on campus -- the information we obtain from
recaptured migrant birds is a cornerstone of our
research. Many of the birds we recapture, however, are resident
we have recaptured -- based on the age at the time of banding and the
time between captures -- was an adult Hairy Woodpecker originally
banded by Dr. Orin Gelderloos on 2 June 1983. RRBO recaptured this bird
on 22 May 1995, making this bird at least 12 years, 11 months old! This
is a minimum estimate, as we do not know exactly how old the bird was
when we first caught it.
You can view some of our other noteworthy
longevity records at the RRBO web site. Four of them are
among the ten oldest recorded in North America for their species.
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Rouge River Bird Observatory is supported outside the
University of Michigan-Dearborn and Environmental Interpretive Center
budgets by private donors, foundations, community groups,
most valuable ecological research requires a long-term commitment to
donations support bird banding, bird population monitoring, publishing
research, strategic planning and cooperative research, and community
is supported by YOU.
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