In February, 15 wild wigeons (Anas penelope) were trapped in the Netherlands and equipped with 15g solar-powered GPS tags that send data via the mobile phone net. For most of February and March, these birds were confined to a small wetland-rich agricultural area north of Amsterdam. But with the advent of spring in April individual wigeons started to migrate. At present, four of the ducks have migrated, all of them straight east for stopover sites in the eastern Baltic Sea, from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus. The longest uninterrupted migratory leg was 1046 km, covered over 12 hours – giving an amazing average speed of 87 km/h! Hopefully in the next month we will be able to follow them to their breeding sites. You can follow their movements in the app Animal Tracker (freely available).
Wigeons on the wing