Bird migration is a fascinating phenomenon. Photo: Jan van de Kam

Real-time tracking

On the basis of 25 years of observations of colour-ringed spoonbills throughout their wintering range, we discovered that adult spoonbills are very faithful to their wintering areas. Therefore, the decision where to migrate and to spend the winter must be made already early in life. To investigate the mechanisms driving this decision, 20 juvenile spoonbills are equipped with GPS-GSM-transmitters. This allows us to track the birds in real-time and to actively search for the birds to collect information on their status (condition) and environment (habitat, food conditions, presence of conspecifics). We expect that both social information (from experienced adults) and habitat quality play an important role in driving stopover and winter site choice of young spoonbills.

If you see a spoonbill with a transmitter on its back, we would be very happy if you could try to collect (some) information.

We need your help!

As spoonbills are travelling along the East-Atlantic coast during migration and in winter, it is very difficult (often impossible) for us to be at the right place at the right time to collect information on the environment of the transmitted birds. This is where your help would be greatly appreciated! How can you help?  If you see a spoonbill with a transmitter on its back, we would be very happy if you could try to collect (some) information via the Animal Tracker app or the Spoonbill observation form . You can read the instructions on the We need your help page.  

Where are they now? 

You can follow the transmitted spoonbills in real-time. Follow Fafa, Julie, Loic and Ravi from France and Anne, Arno, Kiki, and Veer from The Netherlands.  Through blogs,  we will keep you informed on how the young spoonbills are doing on their first southward migration. 

Tamar Lok