As the Terns get ready to migrate south at the end of the season, it makes you wonder “where are they going?” Last year on Metinic Island, refuge staff attached geolocators onto Arctic Terns in an effort to find out just that! These particular geolocators work in an incredible way. GPS or satellite tracking equipment is expensive and heavy. These lightweight little units monitor time of sunrise and sunset instead, and from that data can give an approximate location on the globe.
This year after a tremendous amount of searching, locating, and trapping, we were able to recover a few of the geolocators and are waiting to receive the data back from them. Soon we will have a map of the flight paths of a few Terns nesting on Metinic, and we will know not only where they went after last year, but how they got there!
-The Metinic Crew