Satellite tagging of six young kestrels
At the end of June 2015 six young kestrels were satellite tagged in the main study area. It was the culmination of a year and a half’s planning, seeking sponsorship, gaining a licence and obtaining the tags from Microwave Telemetry in the USA. The licence was granted by the BTO, sponsorship obtained from the Dumfries & Galloway and South Strathclyde Raptor Study Groups, the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, Natural Research and Falck Renewables Wind Limited, and I am extremely grateful for their support. Roy Dennis sourced the tags.
5 gram satellite tag
tag with harness
The tags were fitted by Dave Anderson, more used to tagging golden eagles and harriers than the feisty kestrels, with me as a trainee. Two birds from each of three broods were selected, the aim being to use a male and female from each brood. However the fourteen young birds turned out to be eleven females and three males, two of the latter being in the same brood so we had to go with the flow and only two males were chosen. The intricate and finicky process was compounded by the aggressive nature of the birds despite the calming effect of a falconer’s hood. The young had to be fully feathered to take the tag and harness so they were at their most lively.
kestrel with falconers hood
Free flying female showing aerial at base of tail
Dave with brother Graham and Anna-Marie Ford