The research


For three year now, we are doing research on Nightjars by using radiotelemetry. Every year we tag a number of individuals so we can track them during day and night. During daytime we are on the look for their sleeping- and breedingplaces. During night time we record the spatial use of these birds by following them on an area-covering route.

In order to track Nightjars, it is necessary to radiotag them first. That's why we organize ringing sessions on multiple occasions. This is only allowed for official ringers who earned their ringing licence at the National Institute of Natural Science in Brussels (Belgium). When Nightjars are caught they first receive an official ring as an identification tool for future recaptures. Next all biometric information is measured. To end every ringing session, we glue a small radiotag on the central tailfeather.

When a radiotag is activated, we receive 'peep' signals by using an antenna and radio-receiver. The strength and direction of this signal helps us identifying the location of all the individuals. But this signal gets influenced by the terrain and height of the birds. Thanks to an elaborate knowledge of the terrain we are capable of closely pinpointing the position of radiotagged Nightjars.

You can find the results of our research here.