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 Post subject: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitters
PostPosted: May 29th, 2015, 4:07 pm 
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Discussion about ringing birds and fitting birds with GPS transmitters - pros and cons

During the last few days, there was a lot of discussion about the practise of ringing birds, why it is done, if it should be done, or why not. The heated dispute was and is disturbing an ongoing nest observation topic, anywhere, be it at the White-tailed Eagles, the Buzzards or any other nest topic. As we see that there is the need to exchange views, we have decided to have this topic for the discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: May 29th, 2015, 9:16 pm 
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this subject has raised questions also in the past, not only this spring. at least one of our members has even left the forum in the past as a protest against equipping a bird with a satellite tracker. i think that this was very regrettable. instead i hope that there will be a fruitful discussion, even a debate, over the benefits and disadvantages of these methods. especially those of you who are against these methods have a possibility to express your views. if successful they will probably influence the thinking and practices of the scientific community.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: May 30th, 2015, 12:28 pm 
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i think that ringing and tagging birds are valuable and even irreplaceable tools in ornithology. these methods have given us information about the migration routes, resting areas as well as wintering areas of birds. it is especially crucial to know where these are in case of endangered bird species. in this case it is vital not only to protect these birds in their breeding areas, but also to take care that their migration routes and wintering areas safe for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: May 30th, 2015, 12:34 pm 
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oronbb posted this poem on the Juras-Erglis WTE topic.
i think that their post can be read as a statement against ringing. it is just expressed in poetic form.
On 30 May 2015, 13:03 oronbb wrote:
Hi,

We are Dror and Tsofi from Israel and we watch Durberts and his parents from the very beginning.

Tsofi wrote a poem (in Hebrew) inspired by the "ringing event"

And here is our humble Translation to the English language:

*************************************************

Human deeds

The excitement and the expulsion

They sneaked

They ringed the Eaglet talons

They made their mark

The covenant between the parts

We will watch and count

Now we will know

***

The parents avoid the nest

Evil spirit and smell of human

They will not approach

***

Eaglet

Lies down, wet

No mom to protect

No dad to feed

For ever tagged

***

Thunder storm is rising from the sea

Spring tweets are still around

Oh, Mom and Dad, when will you come?

When will you come back for me?


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 5th, 2015, 1:13 pm 
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The observations obtained by ringing and especially by tracking are extremely valuable. Maybe there is a research about how long satellite-tracked birds live and what is the breeding success compared to untracked birds? This info just might ease the tension about the idea of tracking.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 5th, 2015, 2:09 pm 
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i don't know if any such research has been done. it's also difficult to imagine how such a comparison could be realized. :puzzled:

Finnish WTEaglets have been equipped with satellite transmitters for some years already and only few of the transmitters have stopped working. most of them have continued giving data, some for years. i have read somewhere that the survival rate of WTEaglets is 50 % during the first winter of their life; i.e. every other eaglet dies before they see the next summer.

the reasons why some transmitters have stopped are unknown. it's possible that either the transmitter had broken or the bird died. anyway it seems that the transmitters have not reduced the survival rate of the eagles.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 5th, 2015, 2:16 pm 
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i managed to find where i wrote something about the Finnish satellite eagles earlier. it was on Nov 25th 2013 in the Saunja nest topic. i'll copy part of it here:
ame wrote:
... young eagles fly away to explore the world, sometimes even rather far. some Finnish WTEaglets have been tagged with satellite transmitters and their travels have been monitored for years now. the recordings show how some of them have travelled really far from home after they have left the home nest. here's the web pages of the Zoological Museum of the University of Helsinki:
http://www.luomus.fi/english/zoology/sa ... /index.htm
clicking there on the last eagle Aava will open the list of all available maps:
http://www.luomus.fi/english/zoology/sa ... istory.htm
EDIT: the Zoological Museum has renewed its webpages so the above addresses don't work any more. the old pages (in Finnish, sorry) can be found here:
http://vanhawww.luomus.fi/elaintiede/merikotkat/

then clicking on a certain eagle's name on the list will open the history page of that time period and there's a link to the map of the corresponding time period.
the list of maps shows how well the eagle transmitters have worked: only Aava's transmitter has stopped working. no-one knows the reason. it may well be that something happened just to the transmitter and the eagle itself is well.

the remarkable thing is that all the other transmitters still do work. that means that the eagles who are carrying them are all alive and well! that is really surprising, because it is estimated that only about half of eaglets (in any species of eagles or any bird of prey altogether) survive to see the next summer. based on this statistics it almost seems that a satellite back-pack increases the survival probability of an eagle!


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 19th, 2015, 3:13 pm 
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Only some facts I know:
Ringing in Tiit&Tiina nest, 2012: serious injuring and finally death of the largest storklet
Ringing in Koit&Eha nest, 2012 - Eha left the nest for a few days, the connection between her and Kalev was broken
Ringing in Durbe&Robert nest, 2014 - Durbe left the nest and appeared only one time after two weeks, in fact the eaglet lost his mom, probably the nest won't be used next season.
Piret got transmitter, 2012: failed nesting season next year.

At the same time there were no problems with ringing in both buzzards nests, in Tiina&Tiit nest in 2011 and 2013 and in Zile&Ozols nest now.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 7:59 am 
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thank you asteria for this contribution! :thumbs:

did you survey all the nest topics for this summary or only these that you remembered or are quite recent?


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 8:00 am 
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Felis reminded us yesterday evening what Urmas wrote on 29th May about the subject of human disturbance when ringing:
Urmas wrote:
...

Ringing of WtE chicks has been performed 40 years in a same way you observed also here. That has not affected quite rapid WtE population increase during that period. The information about after ringing behavior is available only for few nests with webcams and one is here. Absence of adults of nest for so long time was surprise also for us, but only through webcam we can see quite big part of everything what happens near nest.
In general the birds of prey are quite tolerant to hunger as that may happen during their life sometimes also naturally, including during nestlings time. The adults may left nest site for longer time also without of intervention for ringing and probability for that rises with age of chick. Seems the WtEs are adapted for to be suspicious according human and in the past that probably saved them of extinction.

So please try to observe calmly the life in nest and trust the specialists - I'm sure our Latvian colleagues do their best and the best for the eagles! And if only possible, we watch situation like you (with some emotions about waiting for adults).


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 8:39 am 
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It turns out that this is not the first time the link between parents and children was shattered by the ringing. Why professionals don't draw conclusions?


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 8:54 am 
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The task is to find out whether there is a relation or not between ringing of the chicks and the apparent change in behaviour of the parents. How normal or abnormal is such a change in that stage of raising the young?
But as I said earlier in the WTE topic: 'If(!) ringing disturbed the parents, it had until now no influence on survival of the young. The young is fed and soon will leave the nest. What else is there to wish for?' In other words: Even if there is a relation between ringing and behaviorial change, there is still no harm done.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 9:12 am 
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Hagnat wrote:
The task is to find out whether there is a relation or not between ringing of the chicks and the apparent change in behaviour of the parents. How normal or abnormal is such a change in that stage of raising the young?
But as I said earlier in the WTE topic: 'If(!) ringing disturbed the parents, it had until now no influence on survival of the young. The young is fed and soon will leave the nest. What else is there to wish for?' In other words: Even if there is a relation between ringing and behaviorial change, there is still no harm done.

Unfortunately enough to compare the status of the family on may 25 before ringing and on 26 - after ringing. May 25, the whole family was assembled. Roberts feed the child, and Durbert was calm and not aggressive, Durbe brought the hay in the nest. It was the last day, when they peacefully spent time in the nest all together.
And now we are seeing that feeding is disrupted and can be interrupted before the eaglet can fly. This is very disturbing. I would like to hope Roberts will feed Durberts before he himself will be able to get food. But dad brings very little fish, we see it. And Durbe stopped to feed the chick at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 9:18 am 
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Oksi, the young looks healthy and strong.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 9:23 am 
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Hagnat wrote:
Oksi, the young looks healthy and strong.


Yes, it is. But he is hungry. And we see that the periods when it remains without fish get bigger. I would love to be wrong. And hope like you for the best. But there is no doubt that all these violations caused by ringing. And I was wondering what the specialists who deal with ringing think about this. Do they believe that these sacrifices are justified and possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 9:39 am 
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oksi wrote:
...But there is no doubt that all these violations caused by ringing.....
There is no doubt by you, but how do you know? You see something you don't like and draw conclusions from it you cannot prove. How for example do you know he is (unusually) hungry?


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 10:40 am 
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Hagnat wrote:
There is no doubt by you, but how do you know?


I compared two days before and after ringtng. The difference is visible to the naked eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 11:42 am 
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Hagnat wrote:
There is no doubt by you, but how do you know?
oksi wrote:
I compared two days before and after ringing. The difference is visible to the naked eye.
In this one case and you don't know how it would have been without ringing.
And again: the young looks strong and healthy.
Your impression is simply not enough to blame and condemn ringing for what you see as negative.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 12:13 pm 
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I still think that such a drastic change in family life could not happen without reason. Today they are all together, and tomorrow no one. It is clear that parents flew away after ringing, they were not in the nest for a long time (Durbe wasn't at all, and Roberts came for one second with fish), during this time the chick is weaned from the parents. Because the development of the chick is very fast.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion about ringing + fitting birds with transmitte
PostPosted: June 20th, 2015, 12:59 pm 
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Oksi :wave:
Oksi, I think the problem is that this tree stands separately. so the parents were able to observe for a long time, what was happening.
Durbes children were ringed last year. they had another tree.
After ringing, both parents came back to the nest.

It is difficult to say what was different this year. I saw the ringing 2x and always the parents came back.

I also saw that the family was idyllic previously.
It hurt me to see that Durbe no longer dares in the nest.

Robert does his job very well. It ensures Durberts.
It's not Robert that as little fish is delivered.
We do not know what it looks like on the lake. Perhaps many people are there. Then it's hard to catch the fish

(sorry my english)


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