Presentation Title

Chasing HOFI: An RFID Approach to Tracking Movement and Behaviour in the House Finch

Presenter Information

Jackson Kusack

Location

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

Start Date

18-3-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

18-3-2016 6:00 PM

Abstract

In an ever changing environment, understanding how our actions affect the behaviour of birds can be the difference between local extinction and persistence for these species. Movement within a landscape can be highly influenced by urbanization and habitat fragmentation. Movement provides a means for facilitating gene flow, accessing resources, and avoiding predators, which are necessary components for healthy populations of songbirds. The objective of this project is to monitor movement patterns of overwintering songbird species across the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) campus to better understand the effects of urban environments on songbird movement. To do this, we developed a radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled birdfeeder system that was implemented in the fall of 2015 on the TRU campus. RFID feeders, in tandem with passive integrated transponders (PIT) placed on leg bands of overwintering songbirds, provide a set of uniquely identified, time-stamped, data points. Using these data points, I was able to infer movements between feeder locations to provide a clearer picture of songbird movement across campus. I then related movement pathways to urban barriers to better understand the driving forces behind songbird movement patterns in an urban landscape. This technique can help inform mitigation efforts and future planning for urban development to reduce the human impact on songbird movement.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Matt Reudink

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Mar 18th, 12:00 PM Mar 18th, 6:00 PM

Chasing HOFI: An RFID Approach to Tracking Movement and Behaviour in the House Finch

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

In an ever changing environment, understanding how our actions affect the behaviour of birds can be the difference between local extinction and persistence for these species. Movement within a landscape can be highly influenced by urbanization and habitat fragmentation. Movement provides a means for facilitating gene flow, accessing resources, and avoiding predators, which are necessary components for healthy populations of songbirds. The objective of this project is to monitor movement patterns of overwintering songbird species across the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) campus to better understand the effects of urban environments on songbird movement. To do this, we developed a radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled birdfeeder system that was implemented in the fall of 2015 on the TRU campus. RFID feeders, in tandem with passive integrated transponders (PIT) placed on leg bands of overwintering songbirds, provide a set of uniquely identified, time-stamped, data points. Using these data points, I was able to infer movements between feeder locations to provide a clearer picture of songbird movement across campus. I then related movement pathways to urban barriers to better understand the driving forces behind songbird movement patterns in an urban landscape. This technique can help inform mitigation efforts and future planning for urban development to reduce the human impact on songbird movement.