Radio-tagging the Eastern Bristlebird: methodology and effects

Eastern Bristlebirds Dasyornis brachypterus were captured at Jervis Bay by two people using up to 168 m of mist-net, open for 145 hours over 29 days. Twenty-two birds were radio-tagged and useful data were obtained for 19 birds at 3 sites in Booderee National Park and for one bird in NSW Jervis Bay National Park. The radio-tags weighed 1.6 g which averaged 3.8 per cent of the birds' weights. The routine time taken from trapping to the release of a radio-tagged bird averaged 45 minutes. The radio-tags were attached to the inter-scapular using Supa Glue Gel. The radio-tags remained attached for a median time of 5.5 days (range 1-41 days). The effect of tagging on the birds was noticeable during processing but appeared to diminish to a negligible level within the first day. A review of 23 studies across 31 avian taxa weighing 7-180 g, carrying radio-tags 0.4-6.9 g which were 1.6-16 per cent of their weight, suggested that for small to medium-sized birds, small radio-tags glued to the inter-scapular have minimal effect and the acclimation period is less than a day.

>> Download Complete PDF | File Size: 792KB