The effectiveness and safety of one- and two-stage solar radio-transmitters in tracking the movements and survival of adult and fledgling Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were evaluated between 1979 and 1983 in southern Florida. Transmitters were attached to birds with back-pack arrangements using teflon ribbon straps. Accessory plastic shields minimized feather coverage of the solar cells. Intact transmitters were seen on birds up to 47 mo after installation. Operating lives ranged from 8 to 21 mo for one-stage, and 10 to 14 mo for two-stage transmitters. Because survival of adult and nestling radio-marked kites was high, we conclude that our transmitter-attachment method had little effect on the birds.
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Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida