About once a year, we get physical with each bird.
It’s an opportunity to say ‘hello’ and check their health and condition.
After locating the birds using radio telemetry technology and/or tracking dogs, we do several things:
– We replace their radio transmitter to ensure the batteries are fresh
– We weigh the birds
– We check their moulting condition
– We take blood samples
– We check for parasites and
– We sometimes take their temperature.
All that information is loaded onto a national database, which allows us to track and compare the life history of each individual bird and to build up a picture of the species.
Young birds, up to the age of two years, are given special treatment, because they are more likely to have problems while they learn about life in the wild. They receive 1-2 daily health checks in the nest and 2-6 week checks after fledging.