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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%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2016, 03:30 PM
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GPS for parrots?

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In the Maggie thread a member had brought up GPS devices are available that would work for parrots, but unless I totally missed it, I never saw the separate thread for it. I was totally confused on how it would work. Given it's getting to be summer again and a greater potential for loss, I thought we should get this discussion going. I can't be the only one interested in a GPS tracker for my bird! Does anyone currently have one? Or maybe we can put our collective minds together and figure out a little more about what options are available! Let's discuss....
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:19 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

I don't have one, but definitely want one! Hope there are some out there that will work with the little guys. I'll have to take a look at the links to the Marshall one(s), meant to but never did.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:26 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Make mine retroactive please! :d
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:15 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

The little bit of info I've read this was from about 4-6 years ago, then the technology didn't exist supposedly to actually track the bird with the microchip.

Has that changed, and is it readily available today?
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:18 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by DRB View Post
The little bit of info I've read this was from about 4-6 years ago, then the technology didn't exist supposedly to actually track the bird with the microchip.

Has that changed, and is it readily available today?
What I had seen was a little attachment that clipped on the birds harness. Or tail feather. Mainly for Hawks I think
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:22 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

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.

Last edited by SailBoat; 04-25-2016 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Transmitter, Range Issue CA Condor
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:40 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

What about the kind of transmitters used to track wild birds? Like if they stick a GPS tracker on an albatross for research, that has to have a longer life than 2 hours? Perhaps people who make trackers for wildlife aren't aware of a potential market for parrot owners.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:37 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

I voted yes. I don't free-flight mine (heck, my Grey isn't a very good flier and he's never been clipped) but I do take them out with me quite often so I would definitely be interested in GPS technology for them. Following what happens here. Thanks for bringing up the topic.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:59 PM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
What about the kind of transmitters used to track wild birds? Like if they stick a GPS tracker on an albatross for research, that has to have a longer life than 2 hours? Perhaps people who make trackers for wildlife aren't aware of a potential market for parrot owners.


From what I recall in my studies, the average GPS trackers they use for wild birds are hugely heavy and unfortunately only work with large birds. There's still no solution for medium to small sized birds for ornithologists that are effective, let alone affordable for multiple use. They're still trying to figure out ways as researching small birds is just as important, but currently all they can do is tag them with leg bands and then follow the actual flock to different locations and identify those individuals later. The little birds don't have enough strength or the batteries currently being used do not have a light enough weight to be placed on them And like Sailboat mentioned, the range is just far too small at the moment for those smaller birds.

Another alternative would be having a bird physically wearing something, such as a harness, that could hold a piece of equipment for tracking purposes. It's far easier to attach something to a harness than it is to the bird itself, and it also provides greater surface area to work with, which in turn means more equipment is available to choose from. With the way technology is developing, chances are you could have small solar cells that are rechargeable through sunlight, and small enough to be placed on a smaller bird's back or chest area of the harness. That being said, you then have the difficulty of preventing the bird from damaging the equipment itself and sabotaging its own tracking.

And that brings us back to having a microchip with GPS capabilities, but something such as that would require a charge to remain active and that could potentially be dangerous to the bird if placed internally. From there, you also have to consider how cost effective it is to implement that technology for the average person, as for every tracker you implement you need the coordinating material to being able to track it and read where it is.

I have no doubt that one day it will be available, but at the moment we simply don't have enough research being dedicated to something like this for the average pet owner. Ornithologists have been struggling for years on how to implement them, but I'm sure when they figure it out it will be huge amongst Falconry crowds and then in turn parrot crowds

Here's a great article released relatively recently regarding the complications of implementing a non-invasive GPS tracker for birds 400+ grams:

http://link.springer.com/article/10....336-012-0908-1
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:00 AM
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Re: GPS for parrots?

RE: attaching a GPS device to something like a harness, I would think it would still be too much weight for the parrot world. The harnesses themselves add weight, and while it is distributed over a larger part of the birds core, adding a GPS tracking device to that only adds weight, and probably does so without being distributed evenly across the harness.

I think you are correct that in the end, it's the batteries in relation to cost as well.
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