Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Celebrating #NationalBirdDay on campus

  Posted on: January 5, 2016

One of many well-attended feeders that can be seen across TRU's Kamloops campus. Here you'll spot a female house finch on the feeder (Carpodacus mexicanus) and a dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) flying in.

It is extremely difficult to track the movement of small birds, especially if their foraging grounds cover several hectares. To overcome this, Dr. Matt Reudink and his research team is using radio-frequency identification technology adapted by TRU physicist Dr. Mark Paetkau to monitor the movements of individual birds over two university campuses—TRU and, soon, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Umea, Sweden. The research is being aided by TRU’s Dr. David Hill (Geography), who is creating a platform for the public visualization and dissemination of the data.

The research team is also employing this technology in natural landscapes, including Kamloops’ Kenna Cartwright Park, and will also begin using it to examine the impacts of pipelines and other landscape features on movement patterns of forest birds.

Reminder: Deadline to apply for an Internal Research Grant is 4 p.m. Jan. 8, 2016.

Once collected, the data can be uploaded to a server immediately upon capture, allowing a near real-time web-based visualization of bird movements. The project, which is funded by an Internal Research Grant and an Open Learning Research Award, also creates the ability to look at historical data and select time windows, species, age classes, individuals and other information for further examination.

The development of this system allows researchers to ask important questions in conservation biology, ecology and evolution, and will be available for classroom use and outreach through web visualization.

Read: Research has important conservation implications

Read: 50 years of bird poop links DDT with changing bird menus

For more information

Dr. Matt Reudink