Wednesday, 17 June 2015

5 things we’ve learnt from our woodcock satellite research

With satellite technology improving all the time we've been able to conduct our woodcock research over the last three years by attaching small satellite tags to each of our birds.

The information provided by the tags has provided some fascinating insights including the following:

1. Departure times are typically mid-March to early April from winter sites and late September to late October from breeding sites.

2. There is a mixing of migrants at wintering sites – birds tagged at the same winter site often flew to different breeding locations.

3. Some birds fly extraordinary distances – three birds have travelled distances of 6,180-7,100km (3,860-4,440 miles) to breeding sites in Siberia. One male, tagged as an adult in 2012, is estimated to have flown at least 38,000km (23,750 miles) during his lifetime!

4. Journey times to reach breeding sites can vary from three weeks (northern Norway) to eight weeks (central Russia).

5. Evidence from a few of our woodcock followed for more than one year indicate they use exactly the same winter and breeding sites each year.

Please help us continue our woodcock research

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