In a recent post I mentioned that our ‘star performer’ H3 from our satellite transmitter programme in February 2008 was back in Roebuck Bay.
Well today I saw C6, another female who is now, like H3, a minimum of 9 years old and she has been carrying her transmitter for 5 and a half years. Or has she?
I saw her on December 15 2009 with her aerial on show but on my next sighting of her on September 13 2010 there was no aerial! We had not caught her and sniped it off as we had done on a couple of birds so where was it? I contacted Dan Mulcahy, the Alaskan vet who implanted the transmitters, and he said maybe she had ‘lost it’. I was a little disbelieving at this! But don’t be sceptical of world experts! He sent me the paper at the link below. Fascinating. I am still not sure if this happened to C6 or if just the aerial was lost. She does appear to have a slightly odd shaped lower abdomen but that could just be me looking for something that isn’t there, literally!
H3, one of GFN’s 14 Bar-tailed Godwits implanted with satellite transmitters in February 2008, has been seen back in Roebuck Bay. She is now a minimum of 9 years old and has been carrying her satellite transmitter and batteries for 5 and a half years. She was our star performer during the project. She was first to China, first to the breeding grounds and first back to Broome. It is always a pleasure to see her looking well in the flocks of birds on the northern shore of Roebuck Bay.
I have also seen the first bird we ever banded for the project a male Bar-tailed Godwit on 30/12/2005. He is now a minimum of 11 years old.
GFN have put on 3,295 individual colour combinations so I only remember the special ones! It is always good to see some of the ‘old birds’.
There is a synopsis of a scientific paper here. The full paper is on the Bohai bay Reports and Papers page.
There is a lovely story of a book by a local Yawuru woman Maxine Chalrie here