This year, we have expanded the species for which our pioneering CTT FlightMode duty cycle is compatible. Since the spring of 2017, we have been working closely with PhD student Randy Knapik (Michigan State University) to roll out and test FlightMode for Mute Swans (Cygnus olor).
These swans are the first waterfowl species to utilize a FlightMode duty cycle, and to the best of our knowledge, Mr. Knapik is the first person to ever record detailed 3D flight tracks for this species. The infrequent flights of Mute Swans mean that these tracks are typically difficult to capture in detail with traditional time-dependent GPS sampling, without constantly recording GPS data at a high rate.
This summer, Cellular Tracking Technologies partnered with the Maryland (USA) Department of Natural Resources and AutumnLynn Harrison of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center to test CTT FlightMode programming on a Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the Chesapeake Bay. Collecting over 50,000 GPS fixes in under two months on this one pelican, the 3D tracks of individual flights are detailed enough to “see” each time the bird might have attempted to catch a fish.
What is CTT FlightMode? As an alternative to regular time-interval GPS data collection, CTT devices can be programmed to collect high-resolution data only when the bird is flying. Takeoff events and individual flights are detected via a sensor fusion between the triaxial accelerometer and GPS. CTT FlightMode also reduces the amount of effort allocated to recording redundant GPS data when an animal’s position has not changed. Learn more about CTT FlightMode at www.celltracktech.com/flight-mode