Studying birds requires observation, that too on a continuous basis. Even if information around their travel season is available a lot of information around their habitat, their groups and more needs to be explored in depth. To understand this, a new technology has been developed. Birds are now fitted with tracking devices which are small and are capable of storing day for one complete breeding season. Known as geo- locators, you can track the movements of birds individually. The geo-locators alone though weren’t enough capable of carrying out behavioral investigations with precision. Now, to resolve this problem, the Swiss Ornithological Institute researchers is making use of pressure sensors with geo-locators.
The study was carried out on Bee eaters and published in the Journal Current Biology. As per the researchers, they were not able to study about the flock movements of this birds until they used the new loggers. The new technology works by recording the individual birds’ behavior and compare it with other birds as in what the others are doing at that particular time and does it match with others and if that is why they belong to the flock.
The study involved fitting 29 loggers on bee-eaters as mentioned across the year 2015-16. These birds breed in large colonies and even breed the young ones that are not their won. They are also known to coordinate with other bee-eaters in order to search for food and mob predators as well.
The study confirmed that the birds were flying together in unison, whether it was going up or down or even flying to a certain altitude. The most amusing part of the find was that these birds can travel together for long period of time and even meet up again after they separate.
The data findings showed that 49% of the tagged birds migrated a distance of 14000 kms together and then they split. While travelling from Germany to Congo Basin they split during Sahara course crossing. Furthermore, 89% rejoined the flock in the Sub Saharan Africa region even though they had separately flown over 5000 kms. Repeated separation and re-joinging was also observed in Africa within bird groups.
The study has been very helpful in understanding bird behavior and technology has been the driver for the same.
*Sourced from the Internet
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