Gallery of newly-released birds

Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

These photographs were taken by photographer (and restaurateur) Frederic Desmette in early October and show some of this year’s birds shortly after their release into our pen on Salisbury Plain.

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Categories: Great Bustards, News, UK

Charlie Moores

Posted by Charlie Moores

Charlie is the Great Bustard news & Otis (the official Great Bustard magazine) editor, as well as being an authority on birds worldwide & writing for several online blogs.

2 Responses to “Gallery of newly-released birds”

  1. Sarah says:

    Do the radio masts bother them?

  2. Charlie says:

    Sarah
    Sorry for the delay but I wanted to make sure I had the correct information before I mailed you back because the data on whether birds of any species are bothered by the radio transmitters is somewhat inconclusive at the moment. Many scientific studies now use them and important discoveries on range and site usage are being made all the time (see for instance BirdLife’s ‘The Amazing Journey’ at http://www.birdlife.org/sociable-lapwing/). It is true to say that in our case a) if we had any proof at all that transmitters were harming our birds or altering their behaviour we would look for an alternative immediately, and that b) one of the conditions of our release-licence is that we find out where our bustards go when they leave the Plain: finding them without GPS is nigh on impossible as they’re so wary and use remote locations.
    I think it’s true to say that in, say, five or ten years transmitter technology will have developed so that really tiny transmitters can be fitted instead which would be preferable (the ‘next gen’ ones are on their way already) – but right now we really do need to know where our birds are going so that we can liaise with landowners etc and better protect them.
    I hope that answer may at least explain the rationale behind using the transmitters even if it doesn’t give a definitive response either way?
    Charlie