Motus Receiver Station Installed at WPNC

August 17, 2020

Another Integral Research Collab in Place at WPNC

We’re thrilled to announce a Motus receiver station is now installed & operational at the Warner Park Nature Center - the first dual station in the state of Tennessee! Keep an eye out for the receiver antennas and sensor station next time you’re in the WPNC parking lot. 

What is MOTUS? 

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to study movements of small animals. Receiving stations document the movements of animals fitted with radio transmitters, and share it throughout the network. 

Until recently, transmitters had very short battery-life and were far too heavy to put on small songbirds. With new technology and the network of shared receiving stations (Motus), researchers are able to learn so much more about the full life-cycle of birds including preferred habitats, dispersal, migration timing & paths, as well as stop-over (resting) behavior between Canada and South America. 

B.I.R.D. Program Contributions 

The WPNC BIRD Program will contribute to this research by capturing such data with our new receiver station. Additionally, our federally permitted bird banders will attach Life Tags (light-weight, digitally coded, solar-powered radio transmitters) to targeted thrush bird species to better understand their habitat and conservation needs. 

This means that during fall migration, we could learn a bird such as a Gray-cheeked Thrush, originally tagged in Canada, uses Warner Parks as an important resting and refueling site on its long migration to South America!  

Warner Parks Have a Role to Play, Too 

Research indicates large urban parks are critical to birds, particularly during migration. Our research will use five species of thrushes to assess if Warner Parks, with its relatively intact forests, is an important habitat for migratory, wintering, and breeding birds.

What’s a Thrush?  

A family of birds known for their beautiful songs that includes American Robin and Eastern Bluebirds! For our WPNC research, we will focus initially on five thrush species: 

Gray-cheeked Thrush, Veery, and Swainson’s Thrush migrate through Tennessee from Canada and the northern US to Central & South America. Our research seeks to understand how the Parks help in their “refueling” as a stopover site during migration.

Wood Thrush breed within Warner Parks and winter in Central America. In light of significant population declines, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has declared them a species in need of management, and our research will further our understanding of their needs. 

Hermit Thrush breed in the northern US & Canada and winter in the southern states, including Warner Parks. Our research is aimed at understanding winter fidelity & migratory routes.

Expressions of Gratitude 

• First, a special thank you to the Barbara J. Mapp Foundation for supporting this research. 

Amy & Carl Wilms from the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Indiana,  who trained our BIRD team on making and attaching transmitter harnesses. 

Dr. David Aborn from University of Tennessee Chattanooga & our friends at Tennessee River Gorge Trust who provided the required training to receive a federal auxiliary permit through the Bird Banding Lab.

The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee who are spearheading the TN Motus Cooperative, working to build a network of receiver stations across the state.

Cellular Tracking Technologies for the cutting edge technology, guidance and expertise. 

Metro Parks Maintenance staff, Friends of Warner Parks, & our fabulous volunteer BIRD team. 

• A huge thank you to volunteer Steve Ghertner - affectionately referred to as The Engineering Department - for his expertise, generosity, and hours of service!

....and all of our fabulous B.I.R.D. volunteers whose dedication and commitment make this all possible!

Motus Receiver Station Installed at WPNC

August 17, 2020

Another Integral Research Collab in Place at WPNC

We’re thrilled to announce a Motus receiver station is now installed & operational at the Warner Park Nature Center - the first dual station in the state of Tennessee! Keep an eye out for the receiver antennas and sensor station next time you’re in the WPNC parking lot. 

What is MOTUS? 

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to study movements of small animals. Receiving stations document the movements of animals fitted with radio transmitters, and share it throughout the network. 

Until recently, transmitters had very short battery-life and were far too heavy to put on small songbirds. With new technology and the network of shared receiving stations (Motus), researchers are able to learn so much more about the full life-cycle of birds including preferred habitats, dispersal, migration timing & paths, as well as stop-over (resting) behavior between Canada and South America. 

B.I.R.D. Program Contributions 

The WPNC BIRD Program will contribute to this research by capturing such data with our new receiver station. Additionally, our federally permitted bird banders will attach Life Tags (light-weight, digitally coded, solar-powered radio transmitters) to targeted thrush bird species to better understand their habitat and conservation needs. 

This means that during fall migration, we could learn a bird such as a Gray-cheeked Thrush, originally tagged in Canada, uses Warner Parks as an important resting and refueling site on its long migration to South America!  

Warner Parks Have a Role to Play, Too 

Research indicates large urban parks are critical to birds, particularly during migration. Our research will use five species of thrushes to assess if Warner Parks, with its relatively intact forests, is an important habitat for migratory, wintering, and breeding birds.

What’s a Thrush?  

A family of birds known for their beautiful songs that includes American Robin and Eastern Bluebirds! For our WPNC research, we will focus initially on five thrush species: 

Gray-cheeked Thrush, Veery, and Swainson’s Thrush migrate through Tennessee from Canada and the northern US to Central & South America. Our research seeks to understand how the Parks help in their “refueling” as a stopover site during migration.

Wood Thrush breed within Warner Parks and winter in Central America. In light of significant population declines, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has declared them a species in need of management, and our research will further our understanding of their needs. 

Hermit Thrush breed in the northern US & Canada and winter in the southern states, including Warner Parks. Our research is aimed at understanding winter fidelity & migratory routes.

Expressions of Gratitude 

• First, a special thank you to the Barbara J. Mapp Foundation for supporting this research. 

Amy & Carl Wilms from the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Indiana,  who trained our BIRD team on making and attaching transmitter harnesses. 

Dr. David Aborn from University of Tennessee Chattanooga & our friends at Tennessee River Gorge Trust who provided the required training to receive a federal auxiliary permit through the Bird Banding Lab.

The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee who are spearheading the TN Motus Cooperative, working to build a network of receiver stations across the state.

Cellular Tracking Technologies for the cutting edge technology, guidance and expertise. 

Metro Parks Maintenance staff, Friends of Warner Parks, & our fabulous volunteer BIRD team. 

• A huge thank you to volunteer Steve Ghertner - affectionately referred to as The Engineering Department - for his expertise, generosity, and hours of service!

....and all of our fabulous B.I.R.D. volunteers whose dedication and commitment make this all possible!

< BACK TO ALL NEWS