Radiotelemetry

 

Doing research on the life of a  bird that is almost invisible is not easy. Radio telemetry helps us achieving this goal. In order to apply this technique you need two things: a radio tag and a receiver. You can compare this with episodes on TV where researchers in Africa try to track lions in the African savannah. The ratiotags sends out a signal with a unique frequency. The receiver with antenna catches these signals so the researchers hear a 'beeb' signal which he uses to locate the animals. 

It is obvious you can not equip a Nightjar with a Lion's transmitter. That's why we use mini radio tags to track our birds. We use superglue to attacht the radio tag to the central tail feather of the Nightjar. Next, we can use the receiver and the antenna to locate and follow our birds. Radio telemetry allows us to learn more about the hidden life of Nightjars: where do they sleep, where do they forage and where do they breed,...