As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Satellite transmitters used to study sandhill crane ecology

Date:January 12, 2016
Source:New Mexico State University (NMSU)

This was not a typical day at the office for New Mexico State University biology doctoral student Matt Boggie. It was a bitterly cold and windy December morning at the Bernardo Waterfowl Management Area in central New Mexico. He sat quietly with binoculars in an irrigation canal, camouflaged behind vegetation near a mowed-down cornfield.

He waited for sandhill cranes to land in the perfect spot in the field.

He waited.

And he waited.

A team of about 14 people from NMSU, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and others sat patiently in nearby vehicles waiting for the call.

The moment Boggie saw an adequate number of cranes in that perfect spot, he made the call.

In an instant, NMSU wildlife science graduate student Andrew Meyers triggered a detonator that deployed a large explosive-propelled net that captured about 16 cranes. During the next five minutes, several vehicles arrived and people ran toward the cranes. What occurred over the next 30 minutes was a quiet, well-organized, efficient, team-oriented and successful trapping event.

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