Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lookout's last readings

Hello Everyone,

We are sorry we haven't updated this blog for the last few days. We were waiting to see if we would get more data from Lookout, but it didn't happen. The last readings we got from Lookout were on February 12th. We noticed in the information that accompanies the readings shows that from February 9th through February 12th, there was only one reading per day and it was coming from the same spot. We also checked other data and we were seeing a battery drain signal. We contacted Microwave Telemetry, who built the transmitter, and asked them to look over the data. They came back with the news that Lookout was either on the ground (presumed to be dead) or that he had somehow gotten the backpack/transmitter off and it had fallen to the ground. Being the optimists that we are, we are hoping for the latter and not the former. Is this the end of the line for Lookout? It is really hard to tell. Other than mounting an all out search of the Rio Patuca area from which his last signal emanated, we won't really know. He is banded with a Federal leg band and who knows, he may show up back in the Chattanooga are in a few years as a nesting bird. It is hard to think about this remarkable bird being gone. Maybe he is not...whatever the outcome, it has been an incredible journey.

We have included three images in this post (click on any to enlarge). One is his last location on Rio Patuca, one is his overall flight path form July 11, 2011 to February 9, 2012 and one is of Lookout standing on a quail at the hack box at Rock City (taken by Jeff Raabe of Rock City). We thank Rock City for their support of this project (and we will release more birds this year through our cooperative effort) and the Benwood Foundation for the grant that allowed us to conduct this telemetry study. We thank you all for following the posts since Lookout and Chatty were released. Please continue to check back to see what is going on with S.O.A.R. and what upcoming programs and projects we have. Godspeed Lookout!

Dale and John

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