Date: April 30, 2018
Source: University of Utah
Identifying bottlenecks -- i.e. places where birds concentrate on migration -- helps bird conservationists know what areas to focus on and get the most bang for their buck, since a large percentage of a species' population can pass through these small areas.
It's not easy to catch an Egyptian vulture. Evan Buechley knows. He's hunkered down near garbage dumps from Ethiopia to Armenia, waiting for the highly intelligent birds to trigger a harmless trap. But no matter how well he and other researchers hid the traps, he says, "somehow the birds could always sense that something was up."
Eventually Buechley, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Utah and HawkWatch International, and his colleagues caught and tagged a total of 45 vultures from 2012-2016. The Egyptian Vulture is an endangered species, and by tracking them Buechley and colleagues were able to learn more about where they eat, breed and migrate.