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photo of an ATS radio telemetry necklace transmitter being attached to a bird by researchers.

Avian

We have the right model, at the right weight and life, using the right attachment, for your species.

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Transmitter Attachments

We've included important application details for each type of attachment

Necklace

  • Most common attachment for pheasant, prairie and woodland grouse, quail, partridge, and increasingly, turkey.
  • Attaches to the base of the neck riding over the bird's crop.
  • Necklace consists of PVC tubing covering a coated, braided stainless steel flexible cable. The cable fits through two holes, one on each side of the transmitter. A metal sleeve is crimped to the cable on each side to hold the transmitter in place. OR, more popular now, models using a Zip-Ty are also available.
  • Antenna extends upward from the transmitter, over the bird's head, or runs within the PVC to top of the necklace, exiting PVC extending upward. To make the antenna less obvious, some bend it backward, but not touching, bird's back .
  • Has replaced the Brander backpack attachments of the past. The necklace provides a better fit if adjusted for size at the base of the neck instead of being slipped over the bird's head.
  • May be removed from a bird and attached to a new study animal in minutes by retying the necklace in the field.
  • Ease of attachment reduces time and stress caused by handling. Good field range since antenna is positioned vertically.
  • No encumbrance of the body or wings which may cause behavioral problems.
  • Programmed options available.
Browse Models

Backpack

  • May weigh up to 3% of species weight, carried in center line of bird’s mass.
  • Allows for stouter antenna for increased range and reduced breakage.
  • Anterior and posterior harness holes are predrilled.
  • Harness material, such as Teflon ribbon, PVC tubing, etc., is supplied by user.
  • Significant battery drain occurs after two months storage in smallest models (A1000, A1005 series).
  • Programmed options available.
Browse Models

Glue-on / Tape-on

  • Often used on small passerines and penguins. Smallest models used on insects.
  • Placed on skin or feathers at scapular region of bird’s back, or glued to insects body.
  • Attached using quick setting epoxies, like cyanoacrylates (super glue), eyelash adhesives, etc.
  • Fabric or gauze may be used to increase surface area of interface.
  • Highly variable attachment time, depending on fastening method and molting.
  • Field range comparable to other external whip antenna transmitters.
  • Significant battery drain occurs after two months storage in smallest models.
  • Programmed options available for larger models.
Browse Models

Leg/Neck Band

  • Leg Bands are used on long-legged birds such as cranes and storks.
  • Neck bands are attached to a customer supplied plastic collar.

  • Leg Band
    • Attached to the leg above the knee, antenna pointing downward. Transmitter is attached with epoxy to a plastic or metal leg band, normally supplied by researcher.
    • Band may be full width or cut to half width. It is possible to attach leg-band transmitters to leg bands already on birds.
    • Does not encumber wings, body, or neck, so behavioral effects are minimized.
    • May reduce potential aerodynamic drag during long distance migrations. Field range comparable to models using external whip antennas.

    Neck Band
    • Three methods of antenna attachment: short whip antenna pointing downward, in front of the bird's breast, a short whip antenna pointing posterior over bird's back, or antenna embedded into the neck band material in a zigzag pattern.
    • Antenna embedded in neck band has one third to one half field range of a backpack design. However, a neck-band transmitter with reduced field range and life is preferred over a backpack transmitter when tracking geese and swans that are notorious for breaking antennas and removing backpack harnesses within days.
Browse Models

Subcutaneous Implant Avian

  • Does not encumber bird’s wings or body.
  • Implanted under skin at base of bird’s neck or on its back.
  • Trailing antenna exits from the suture.
  • Good aerodynamic profile, important for migrants.
  • Requires extensive handling and high degree of surgical skill.
  • Possibility of infection and/or rejection.
  • Programmed options available.
Browse Models

Prong and Suture

  • Attaches to back of adult and young birds. Good for short term monitoring of nesting birds
  • Often used on long migration waterfowl. Also used on ducklings and chicks, since weight is minimal compared to harness attachment
  • Does not encumber the wings, body or neck of the bird
  • Prong is inserted into 2-3 mm incision to anchor front of transmitter between bird’s back and scapular.
  • Rear of transmitter attached with two or three sutures. Will be shed by bird in approximately 50 to 150 days.
  • Programmed options available on A4400 series.
Browse Models

Tailmount

  • Often used on raptors, sometimes on gulls and terns.
  • Attached to underside of one to four tail feathers using glue and braided nylon fishing line.
  • No harness around the neck, wings, or body to encumber movement.
  • Body growth of young birds not a concern since transmitter is attached to tail rather than a growing part of the body.
  • Retention based on seasonal molting patterns; transmitter may remain attached a few weeks up to nine to ten months.
  • Recapture unnecessary since transmitter falls off when tail feather is molted.
  • Trailing whip antenna reduces drag during flight compared to other designs.
  • Weight requirements limit field life. Possibility of premature feather loss exists, reducing time a bird can be monitored.
  • Programmed options available on A4600 series.
Browse Models

Patagial Mount

  • Used extensively on Condor’s.
  • Models available for juvenile and adult.
Browse Models

Dwyer Backpack

  • Used for longer term studies, one year or more, mainly on ducks.
  • Rides on center of duck’s back, with PVC tubing looped around body, fixed in place with PVC solvent cement and knot.
Browse Models

Tarsal-Jess

  • Primarily used on raptors.
  • Attaches to bird's leg using a leather jess (strap) passed through a small stainless steel loop on the transmitter.
  • No encumbrance of neck, wings, or body. Especially important for birds of prey for in-flight maneuvering.
  • Good field range. Life is less than other designs.
  • Jess supplied by user.
  • Programmed options available.
Browse Models

Woodcock Belly Band

  • Used successfully on woodcocks for over 20 years
  • Glued to bird's back, kept in place with thin wire belly-cinch
  • Usually shed by animal after 60-80 days
  • Programmed options not available
Browse Models

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Tracking System Options

GPS Systems

Today's GPS systems have come down in price and weight. ATS has models ranging from as light as 5 grams, to 800 gram big game GPS collars.

View Requirements

Manual Tracking

For smaller scale studies basic homing to track your birds is commonly used.

View Requirements

Remote Unattended Stations

Many presence-absence studies involving birds use one or morea data-logging receivers in located in strategic  positions. Use of a remote download modlule suchas the RDP1000 allow you to collect your data from your PC.

View Requirements

Aerial Tracking System

Widely dispersed animals will be more easily located using small aircraft ... ATS has everything you'll need for aerial telemetry.

View Requirements

Getting Started Resources