discussion / Biologging  / 3 March 2023

Wing-tags with trackers attached?

Hi all, 

We want to better understand the population movements of the bird species, Little Corellas, in South Australia. We are wanting to attach a tracking device that collects data for a long period of time. The usual tracker attachment styles (e.g., harness, tail mount, back-mount) are highly likely to be unsuccessful due to the birds inquisitive nature and sharp beak. 

Alternatively, the Correllas are highly tolerable of wing-tags and leave them untouched. We were wondering if it seems feasible to use a wing-tag with a tracker attached (likely glued on) as an attachment style. We have seen ear-tag trackers made for small mammals, but these would be too heavy for our bird species (which on average weighs ~450g). 

If anyone has heard of a bird species being tracked with a wing-tag and a tracker glued on, or a custom-made wing-tag tracker that is lightweight for birds, we would love to know.  

Thank you, Ruth 

Hey Ruth, 

Can you post photos of the "wing-tags" that you are referencing and/or perhaps a link? The smallest satellite transmitter that exists today is about 2-3g in weight and really quite small. In theory, I don't see why it couldn't work...