Outdoors blog

Researchers play chicken with sage grouse radios

A GPS transmitter is test-fitted on a chicken before Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists put the harnesses on sage grouse released at the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in April 2014. (Washington Fish and Wildlife Department)
A GPS transmitter is test-fitted on a chicken before Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists put the harnesses on sage grouse released at the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in April 2014. (Washington Fish and Wildlife Department)

WILDLIFE -- My Sunday Outdoors stories about the fascinating grouse species of the West were packed with information about these novel birds, but a ton of details litter the editing room floor, so to speak.

For example, before they placed GPS transmitters on valuable sage grouse released in Washington last month, Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists practiced and fine-tuned the fitting process on a chicken at the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area shop (photo above).

"The group learned how to place the GPS transmitter/harness assembly onto a bird, and adjust for proper transmitter location and harness tension," said Juli Anderson, Northeastern Washington Wildlife Area Complex manager.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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