Tracking Project – Intro

In partnership with researcher, Dr. John Brzorad, from Lenoir-Rhyne University, and funding from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, in spring 2016 we embarked on a great blue heron tracking project.  Our goal is to learn new information about Maine’s great blue herons with cutting-edge technology, while actively engaging students of all ages in every phase of the project, within Maine and beyond.

About the Project

Students of all ages are invited to participate in efforts to capture, tag, and track up to five great blue herons with satellite transmitters. The transmitters are solar-powered and will last several years, generating location data for the tagged herons through all seasons.  The data will be publicly available for use by anyone interested.

Ways to Get Involved

  • OBSERVE behaviors and movements of tagged herons.  Follow the heron with real-time data and record the bird’s behaviors to aid in calibration of the movement data received from the transmitters.
  • USE DATA generated by the transmitters to answer questions about movements during nesting, habitat use, migration routes, wintering locations, and much more! The data can be easily pulled into Google Earth, Excel, and ArcGIS, and you can even follow the herons on your smartphone.

Track Maine’s Herons Online!

The herons’ transmitters download data every 24 hours to an open source website called Movebank. You can find instructions on how track Maine’s tagged great blue herons in Movebank here.

Teacher Resources

To learn how you and your students can be part of this exciting project, contact Danielle D’Auria by email or by calling (207) 941-4478.  To share this project with others, download the flyer (PDF)