Application of a modified harness design for attachment of radio transmitters to shorebirds

Wader Study Group Bulletin
By: , and 

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Abstract

Radio transmitter attachment methodology is important to the design of radio telemetry studies. In 1998, we attached 5 transmitters to a captive population of Western Sandpipers (Calidris mauri) and 7 transmitters to wild Killdeer (Charadriusv ociferus) using a modified version of the Rappole and Tipton (1991) figure-8 leg-loop harness. Captive birds fitted with harnesses did not exhibit quantifiable differences in behavior relative to control birds. Based on initial success in using the leg-loop harnesses, we used harnesses to attach transmitters in the wild to 30 Killdeer and 49 Dunlin (Calidris alpina) during the winters of 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. This was part of a study on movements of wintering shorebirds in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. Wild birds showed no adverse effects of the harnesses.Thus, the described harness is a practical method for attachment of transmitters to shorebirds. Advantages of this harness method include a reduction in handling time at capture, elimination of the need to clip feathers for attachment, and increased transmitter retention time.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Application of a modified harness design for attachment of radio transmitters to shorebirds
Series title Wader Study Group Bulletin
Volume 91
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher University of New Mexico
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 16
Last page 20
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Willamette Valley