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View Poll Results: Are you interested in a GPS tracker for your parrot?
Yes 22 88.00%
No 3 12.00%
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2016, 09:37 AM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

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This is a very interesting discussion...up until recently I believed my birds were safe with a microchip in them ...(Mr Biggles is not yet chipped but will be soon) and that the chip woukd bring them home once they were found and scanned but I now know that some vets are just dismissing people and not scanning the bird when they are contacted about a found stray parrot and dont appear to be advising people either to go get the parrot scanned which now makes me ask what use is the microchip in these type of scenarios, so I would love to see a chip that could be read from a distance maybe via satelite or something of that nature so a parrot could be located or a GPS system of some kind that would be easy for the bird to wear and would last long enough to find a lost parrot. I dont freefly mine but you never know when accidents can happen thst leave a parrot vulnerable alone and lost.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:01 AM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Yeah, this is presently a falconry gadget. And the technology is limited, but does work. Since you generally know the area where they came down, you can generally find them again.

I'm still not convinced that this technology will translate well to parrots.

I'd like to see a simple leg band with my name and phone number on it. THAT TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Maggie would be home if she had one.

Then again, we had her breeder band removed because it got caught on something and cut her leg... so...

Visual acuity is always better when looking in the rear view.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:08 AM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Great thread, April!

Personally, I'm most in line with Chantal's (Dinosrawr) thinking on this. I believe the best chance for this kind of technology would be a GPS built into a harness. But as was pointed out, the cost of developing something like this that would be light enough, with a long enough battery life, and durable enough to withstand constant gnawing, would likely be prohibitive until the technology had been around for several years.

Of course, something internal would sidestep the gnawing issue, but I'd never put anything powered into my birds. A malfunction could have horrific results. Not to mention that even low level electromagnetic emanations could potentially cause cancer.

I also like Mark's idea about the leg band with his name and number on it, especially since that's actually currently feasible. I'd only add that, for my peace of mind, it would have to be removable. There are too many things that go wrong with permanent leg bands for me to cosign on that.

So basically, it would be a band that you could put on when leaving the house with your bird, and take off once you're back home. (Yeah, I know. This wouldn't do a thing for birds who escape the home when least expected, but as I said, too many potential leg band issues otherwise.)

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Old 04-26-2016, 11:20 AM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

It's low tech. It's inexpensive. Maybe even some sort of a strap on information tag with the bird's name, your name, and a phone number IF FOUND CALL: XYZ.

That would eliminate the expense, the weight issue, and the "crunch crack" issue. JUST A STRAP ON TAG.

Okay the strap on tag concept WOULD NOT eliminate the Zoe factor... i.e. YOU THINK I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO TAKE THIS THING OFF?! [Insert maniacal birdie laughter here.]
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:51 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Hi guys, I'm getting together basically an article to post up here in a seperate thread. Been pretty busy and I know I meant to post it that day. Sorry it's taking so long D:

The GPS has only a 3 hour battery, then a 3 day battery for the telemetry part. For me it's worth every penny. If a bird flies off, and you can see exactly where t goes it is worth it. Loosing a bird just one time and getting it back the GPS pays for itself right there.

This is a screen shot of the app that goes with the GPS, it's a live view and you can also record their flight. This shows one of our birds flying off, and lands by the ocean. With the GPS we drove out, got the bird back in less than 15 minutes. We could even see on the map the exact light pole it was sitting on. The slogan for the GPS is "how can you loose something that isn't lost" and it's truth.
GPS for parrots?-image.jpg


When we get our amazon parrot we plan to put a track back on the young bird before even training it to fly. Get it used to it and to see if the bird might chew at it. Unlike a traditional harness the track pack harness isn't visible, the idea is that the bird preens it in under the feathers and it's not noticeable. We'll also add a tail mount. They won't be able to remove the tail mount easily. and I feel it wouldn't be bothered with telemetry being there. The risky spot to put telemetry is on the leg, it WILL get damaged there, we other by the bird chewing it, or they will stand on it and bend the enteanna. A bent antenna can still be used, but a straight ones best.

Here's a few different transmitters, first on the left is a scout with a 40 day battery, then a power max with a 2 week battery, then a micro Merlin which can be used on a bird as small as a GGC and maybe a cockatiel, then a turbo which last a week.
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Last edited by Featheredsamurai; 04-26-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:57 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Here how hidden the track pack is, I need to seperate the feathers just to find it


And this is the tail mount, it's clamped onto on of the deck feather. We like to add a tiny bit of glue before we clamp it.


Another shot of the Merlin systems micro, tiny and weighs nearly nothing


Here's a image from google of a bird flying with both a tail mount and a track back. Keep in mind this bird has the two LARGEST antennas on, and it looks pretty big lol.


I can't seem to see my images? Can anyone else see them?
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Last edited by Featheredsamurai; 04-26-2016 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:06 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Good news / Bad news!

The technology is available, primarily pushed by Drones locating systems. The size of the devise is now small enough to use with a medium to large parrot. Attachment point would likely be just in front of the wings. That's the good news.

Battery size and weight continues to be a problem due to the fact that the unit is a continuous transmitter. The battery would likely need to be replaced each time it is used. Projected life using lightest / smallest battery is about two hours. That's the bad news.

With the heavy continued investments in Drone technology, maybe with in the next five years the transmitter with likely be half its current size and weight, which improves battery life. So, if the device becomes half its size and the battery life becomes twice its life, we are still talking 4 to 5 hours at best.

Now if you are talking about Hawks and Eagles; Well look for that market to be the entry point into the 'Bird' GPS Tracker. Their weight to lift is just that much greater than our Parrots.

Please remember that it is a continuous transmitter and represents a continuous drain on a battery! Another limitation is the range of the transmitter, a few miles at best. There are already systems available for very large birds like the CA Condor, but remember that bird has a huge weight to lift - like pounds compared to what a parrot could lift.
The falconry GPS weighs very little, and it has a 10 - 20 miles radios. 10 with the stock antenna(very tiny) and 20 with the large magnetic antenna you can stick on your car(cost about $75).

My scout transmitter(no GPS) last for 40 days and has about a 30 mile range.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:59 PM
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GPS for parrots?

I can't see your images, no. They aren't appearing in my app or in the web browser. They sound super awesome, but I imagine they would have to be reworked a bit for parrots - especially for the mechanically inclined, like Mark mentioned. Parrots haven't often been studied with telemetry because of their tendencies to be masters of destruction of anything you place of them that they dislike.


Some interesting articles I found with telemetry and parrots:

Two birds of the 12 studied removed theirs within an hour, but was otherwise relatively successful:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0218165836.htm

None of the Kea parrots managed to remove theirs, which is promising:

http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1642/AUK-14-196.1

Successful tracking of hummingbirds (!) for over four years:

http://www.projetcolibris.org/Charet...T_tag_v4.0.pdf

The common theme in the parrot GPS systems is that 1.) The antenna cannot be showing because they will immediately break it and ruin the tracker, 2.) It has to be encased within parrot proof material to prevent disassembly (from the average parrot... I'd like to see it tested with GW's, RFM's, and BTM's), and 3.) It has to be cost effective.

I'm hoping that once Psittacine researchers have further developed the technology for wildlife research, it will become mainstream technology for us parrot owners, same as with Falconry telemetry. Parrots haven't been researched for years using GPS - note how recent those two papers are - because of their beaky tendencies and flying weight. But it's certainly promising!
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:07 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

This may seem crazy, but my daughter has a GizmoPal. It's a watch and voice phone with GPS on-demand. The band could easily be removed to place the watch portion in a pouch on the harness. The battery lasts 5+ days between charges. They're just over $100 from Verizon with no contract, and $5 a month. You can also speak through the new ones on demand.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:34 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Anyone ever heard of a tile? It uses bluetooth and can be found using a smart phone. If you bird is out of range of your phone, others with the tile app will automatically search for it and send you location.

I have one on my key chain....it would work on a harness as well for a medium to large bird.
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