Chasing Birds

I enjoy spending time in nature and chasing after birds. In fact, I like it so much that I’ve spent the past 6 summers working on projects studying birds. My master’s research was on American Kestrels, which are really cool falcons that you can read about in my previous blogs. Besides following birds, I also enjoy pushing through shrubs, getting stabbed by thorns, bitten by ticks and chiggers, and walking up steep hills in hot weather. Nothing says I love nature like having your legs covered in cuts and insect bites.

One of the cool areas I’ve gotten to participate in, is radiotracking. Birds (and other animals such as bats) can be caught and fitted with a radio transmitter. This is set to a specific frequency which can then be picked up by a receiver. I can then track down where the birds are at in the woods (or clearcut full of thick shrubs and thorns) and use that information to learn about how birds are moving around and utilizing different habitats. Because I enjoy writing song parodies, below is a song I wrote about this subject titled “Radiotracking”. Sorry Imagine Dragons, I promise not to use any of your other songs for at least a week.

(On the left is one of the birds I’m currently tracking – a Worm-eating Warbler. They don’t actually eat worms, but instead prefer caterpillars and butterflies. On the right is a young fledgling)

Radiotracking ( to the tune of Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons)

I’m waking up with the sunrise,

The whip-poor-wills and the pesky flies

I’m breathing in the pollen spores

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then driving out in the pickup truck

This is it, the pot holes are hit

Whoa

I’m homing in, the beeps are quick

Look for the bird, I found a tick

Welcome to the bird age, to the bird age

Welcome to the bird age, to the bird age

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

 

I walk the path and climb the hills

The birds call out, with chips and trills

Is there a nest, or has it fledged?

Whoa

I’m breaking through, the clearcut brush, pushing fast cause I’m in a rush

This is it, I am getting bit

Whoa

I’m homing in, the beeps are quick

Look for the bat, I feel a tick

Welcome to the bat cave, to the bat cave

Welcome to the bat cave, to the bat cave

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

BRIDGE

All systems go, signal hasn’t died
Birds and bats move, where did they fly?

I’m homing in, the beeps are quick

Look for the bird, I feel a tick

Welcome to the bird cage, to the bird cage

Welcome to the bird cage, to the bird cage

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m

Radiotracking, radiotracking

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