Posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010
Last week, GBG were joined by our good friend and colleague Prof. Juan Carlos Alonso from Spain's Museum of Natural Science, in Madrid. Juan Carlos has been working with GBG since 2007, helping to fit GPS satellite transmitters to the UK released Great Bustards. On Thursday (23rd Sept) we fitted 12 birds with GPS transmitters before all heading off to London for our fundraising evening at the Royal Geographic Society.
This year the release methodology, devised in conjunction with Bath PhD student John Burnside, has changed slightly to previous years. This year the birds are being released in small groups at different times. The hope is that gradually introducing juvenile birds into the wild will be less daunting to the older birds (released in previous years) than flooding the area with youngsters, thus encouraging more interaction between old and young birds.
On Friday (24th Sept) six females were released into the wild, joining the five males that were released two weeks ago. All were seen to be doing well, mixing with the older birds and foraging around the feeding station and the decoy birds.
The whole event was filmed by wildlife cameraman Manuel Hinge for a forthcoming documentary and also recorded by wildlife photographer David Kjaer. GBG was also delighted to be joined on the day by wildlife photographer David Tipling. GBG members, visitors to the project and followers of this website will be familiar with the photos of both David Kjaer and David Tipling as they have both kindly granted us permission to use their images of Great Bustards for our website and printed literature for many years. David Tipling is working with Mark Cocker on a new book titled Birds and People: A global celebration of birds in human culture, scheduled for publication in 2012. The Great Bustard is one of the species to be featured in the book along with the GBG's work to reintroduce it to the UK.
Look out for more news of releases in the next few weeks or better still, book on a guided tour of the Project Site to see the newly released birds.