Birds wearing tiny trackers reveal migration routes in amazing detail

At the Rushton Woods Preserve outside of Philadelphia, birds are being outfitted with tiny radio trackers that give us unprecedented insight into their journeys across the globe

Life 27 July 2022

An Eastern Towhee perched on a textured log in the open with a smooth green background.

Eastern towhees are one of the species being outfitted with tiny trackers at the Rushton Nature Preserve outside of Philadelphia

Getty images/iStockphoto

In the dappled light beneath the forest canopy, ornithologist Shelly Eshleman pauses for a moment to listen. It is just after 6am on a humid July morning, and through the chorus of birdsong, she has detected the distinct chatter of an eastern towhee – the species we’re looking for.

As we move through the understory at the Rushton Woods Preserve outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I dodge a set of mist …

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