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Testing transmitter types, harness types, and harness materials for attachment of radio transmitters onto avian chicks

July 28, 2021

In an effort to facilitate research into the period between fledging and first breeding of juvenile terns we examined the impact of various combinations of harness types (backpack, leg-loop, and 3D printed harnesses), harness materials (Conrad-Jarvis automotive ribbon, Stretch Magic elastic thread, and Teflon ribbon), and transmitter types (CTT LifeTag and Lotek Nanotag) on a surrogate for juvenile terns, 28 day-old Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica. This species was selected due to similarities in adult mass and downy feathering of juveniles), in a 30-day experiment. We monitored for abrasion at points of contact and tag gap issues via daily exams while also recording mass and wing cord as indices of growth. This study was designed to serve as an initial examination of the impacts of marking on the growth and development of young birds and does not account for any impacts of tags on movement or behavior. The results of this study are provided in this data release.