A GPS-based system for recording the flight paths of birds
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The GPS recorder consists of a GPS receiver board, a logging facility, an antenna, a power supply, a DC-DC converter and a casing. Currently, it has a weight of 33 g. The recorder works reliably with a sampling rate of 1/s and with an operation time of about 3 h, providing time-indexed data on geographic positions and ground speed. The data are downloaded when the animal is recaptured. Prototypes were tested on homing pigeons. The records of complete flight paths with surprising details illustrate the potential of this new method that can be used on a variety of medium-sized and large vertebrates.