Late last June and into July, in Iqaluit, David Hussell, Ricky Dunn and I banded Snow Buntings that had nests. We put on a regular aluminum band, a light blue plastic band (on the left leg) and a geolocator. The latter fits on the bird’s back with a harness – like a little backpack. The geolocator records where the bird is – latitude and longitude – each day. This will give us an idea its migration routes, both south and north, and its wintering area. Very little is know about Snow Buntings that breed in the Canadian Arctic. Christie Macdonald used geolocators to follow some nesting buntings from Southampton Island. This is the second population of Canadian birds that we will get some data on (assuming that the gizmo was working).
This bird, a female, was originally caught on July 10th, 2013. David noted in his email that they have also found another banded bird with a geolocator, a male. They will be trying to catch it over the next few days. It will be exciting to see the routes these eastern Arctic birds took and to see where they spent the Winter!
[Note: we will be banding tomorrow morning at Ruthven.]