Since my last report I have spoken with the technical staff at Microwave Telemetry (the people that made Coley’s satellite transmitter) about my concerns about Coley’s movements and the functioning of the transmitter. They checked it out and answered a couple questions that have been on our minds:
Coley does not seem to be moving much, could there be a problem with him?
If Coley was dead or injured, there would be no movement at all, all of the data points would have the same coordinates, his speed would always be 0, and there would be no change in his altitude, or orientation.
Why is Coley’s Orientation 0 when he is perched?
Generally, the bird has to be moving to obtain a value for the orientation. If he is not moving, then it would be 0.
Does the data reflect any problems with the satellite transmitter or reception of data by the satellite?
There are no apparent problems with the transmitter or the satellite. I think this means we can all stop worrying about him for now.
So all seems to be well with the transmitter and with Coley. His behavior has not changed much since he arrived in Bird Marsh near Barranquilla, Colombia. He seems to be very content in a very small area of the marsh, with perhaps a daily flight out to fish. Interestingly, about 3.75 miles southwest of Coley’s winter home, I located an interesting fishing village over water in the middle of the Cienaga Pajaral. Would you believe it is called “Nueva Venecia” – or New Venice? The seem to be a few hundred houses in an area just 1/2 mile across. I’ve included here a satellite image – very interesting. If you want to investigate a bit further a number of photos of the area can be seen here. And Coley is not even 4 miles northeast of this community! I particularly like the photo of children apparently heading off to school on a Boardwalk on stilts.
Happy Holidays to all of you and thanks again for your input and support.
Coley and Dr. Bob Signing off.
For a larger map with photos, zoom in on Google Maps.