Cutting edge technology 2g tags

13 Jul 2017
In spring we fitted our six new recruits to the UK Cuckoo Tracking Project with 2g satellite tags for the first time. Whilst these are similar in design to the 5g tags previously used, the lighter, smaller tags mean we are able to fit them to lighter and smaller birds, opening up opportunities for future tracking projects. The benefit of using a smaller tag does come with costs, however. The 2g tag has a lower power output than the larger tag and, because it is physically smaller we are finding that the solar panels are being covered to a greater extent by the bird’s feathers. This results in fewer and poorer quality locations, especially when the bird is under cover within its habitat. As a consequence the journeys of these new birds might not always be quite as easy to follow and some erroneous positions may be plotted on the maps. We still expect to get enough to enable us to see their migrations unfold and add to the wealth of information that we already have so stay tuned!