Juvenile bar-tailed godwit "B6" with metal leg band
Juvenile bar-tailed godwit "B6" with metal leg band. At this time researchers put a metal band on the chick and glued a small (0.5 gram) VHF transmitter to the bird. The small transmitter was attached to the chick's back, enabling researchers to track the chick for the next 4 days prior to recapture on July 15, 2022, at which time the leg flag 'B6' was added, and the solar-powered satellite transmitter was deployed. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a study to track the migration of juvenile (hatch year) bar-tailed godwits from breeding sites near Nome, Alaska. Alaska-breeding bar-tailed godwits annually conduct non-stop migrations between Alaska and wintering sites in New Zealand and eastern Australia, but the movements of juvenile godwits on their first southbound migrations have never before been tracked. This study was conducted to better understand how these birds navigate their first migrations from Alaska to wintering site. This work is part of a larger effort to understand the locations and times of the year where godwits face the greatest threats.
Photo by Dan Ruthrauff, U.S. Geological Survey