- Stories > Feature Stories > Nanotags (84) More files...
Miniaturised radio transmitters are changing what we know about bird migration,

The use of nanotags in bird migration studies is opening up new worlds of information for biologists, allowing them to learn more than ever before. Photographer Karine Aigner documented two studies in the Bahamas and the USA, both of which are making use of this emergent technology to lift the lid on the complexities of bird migration

Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Portrait of a Swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604628
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Nano transmitter for songbirds, with loop harness. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604632
Karine Aigner / Nano transmitter for songbirds, with loop harness. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Biologist Clara Cooper-Mullin (left) and her colleague Olivia DaRugna. Clara is holding a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus), as part of her study into the migration behaviour of birds that use the isl...  -  Karine Aigner
01612716
Karine Aigner / Biologist Clara Cooper-Mullin (left) and her colleague Olivia DaRugna. Clara is holding a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus), as part of her study into the migration behaviour of birds that use the isl...
View from Block Island looking out to sea, with swimmers' belongings on the beach, Rhode Island, USA. October 2008.  -  Karine Aigner
01615506
Karine Aigner / View from Block Island looking out to sea, with swimmers' belongings on the beach, Rhode Island, USA. October 2008.
Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus)  caught in a mist net.  Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604653
Karine Aigner / Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) caught in a mist net. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Woman releasing a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus)  from a mist net. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604654
Karine Aigner / Woman releasing a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) in a mist net.   Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604649
Karine Aigner / Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) in a mist net. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Research study assistant helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before m...  -  Karine Aigner
01604648
Karine Aigner / Research study assistant helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before m...
Research study assistant helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before m...  -  Karine Aigner
01604646
Karine Aigner / Research study assistant helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before m...
Volunteer, helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before migration. Bloc...  -  Karine Aigner
01604644
Karine Aigner / Volunteer, helping release a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) from a mist net. The Thrush might be a possible cohort individual for a study on fat gain and antioxidants in diet before migration. Bloc...
Portrait of a Eastern towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604667
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Eastern towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604664
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Black-capped chickadee, (Poecile atricapillus) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604639
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Black-capped chickadee, (Poecile atricapillus) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Brown creeper, (Certhia americana) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604643
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Brown creeper, (Certhia americana) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Myrtle warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604638
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Myrtle warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Carolina wren, (Thryothorus ludovicianus) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604630
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Carolina wren, (Thryothorus ludovicianus) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604662
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Red-breasted nuthatch, (Sitta canadensis) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604641
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Red-breasted nuthatch, (Sitta canadensis) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a American robin, (Turdus migratorius) male with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604629
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a American robin, (Turdus migratorius) male with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604665
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604666
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604636
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Hermit thrush(Catharus guttatus) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604661
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Hermit thrush(Catharus guttatus) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a White-throated sparrow, (Zonotrichia albicollis) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604642
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a White-throated sparrow, (Zonotrichia albicollis) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Portrait of a Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula) with white background,  Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.  -  Karine Aigner
01604634
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula) with white background, Block island, Rhode Island, USA. Bird caught during scientific research.
Biologists researching song birds, weighing and banding birds caught in mist nets. Here birds are kept in breathable fabric bags while they are waiting to be examined.   Block island, Rhode Island, US...  -  Karine Aigner
01604655
Karine Aigner / Biologists researching song birds, weighing and banding birds caught in mist nets. Here birds are kept in breathable fabric bags while they are waiting to be examined. Block island, Rhode Island, US...
Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) captive during scientific study, with a wax worm. This bird is part of a study about weight gain, diet and condition prior to migration. Once the thrush has reached i...  -  Karine Aigner
01604656
Karine Aigner / Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) captive during scientific study, with a wax worm. This bird is part of a study about weight gain, diet and condition prior to migration. Once the thrush has reached i...
Biologist about to harness Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) with nano-transmitter.  Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604658
Karine Aigner / Biologist about to harness Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) with nano-transmitter. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Biologist feeding Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) a mixture of elderberry powder. This powder is full of an antioxidant called anthocyanin. The anthocynanin is thought to help birds recover from and...  -  Karine Aigner
01604660
Karine Aigner / Biologist feeding Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) a mixture of elderberry powder. This powder is full of an antioxidant called anthocyanin. The anthocynanin is thought to help birds recover from and...
Vials of blood from a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) in a centrifuge after being spun. The centrifuge separates the plasma (yellow) from the packed red blood cells (red).  This research is to measu...  -  Karine Aigner
01604645
Karine Aigner / Vials of blood from a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) in a centrifuge after being spun. The centrifuge separates the plasma (yellow) from the packed red blood cells (red). This research is to measu...
Biologist taking blood samples from Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) for scientific study looking at antioxidant capacity in blood and oxidative damage caused during migration.  Block island, Rhode I...  -  Karine Aigner
01604647
Karine Aigner / Biologist taking blood samples from Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) for scientific study looking at antioxidant capacity in blood and oxidative damage caused during migration. Block island, Rhode I...
Biologist blowing on the breast of a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) in order to separate feathers to see how much fat the bird has gained. Fat gain is important for migratory birds as they use a lo...  -  Karine Aigner
01604659
Karine Aigner / Biologist blowing on the breast of a Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) in order to separate feathers to see how much fat the bird has gained. Fat gain is important for migratory birds as they use a lo...
Wax worms are portioned out by weight as biologist studying Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus). The food is weighed out to test how much food it takes for the birds to fatten adequately before migratio...  -  Karine Aigner
01604657
Karine Aigner / Wax worms are portioned out by weight as biologist studying Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus). The food is weighed out to test how much food it takes for the birds to fatten adequately before migratio...
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) held in hand before release -  wearing a barely visible nano-transmitter.  Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604650
Karine Aigner / Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) held in hand before release - wearing a barely visible nano-transmitter. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) wearing a barely visible nano-transmitter.  Block island, Rhode Island, USA.  -  Karine Aigner
01604651
Karine Aigner / Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) wearing a barely visible nano-transmitter. Block island, Rhode Island, USA.
Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) female in jack pine carrying food for young. Michigan, USA, July.  -  Karine Aigner
01604609
Karine Aigner / Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) female in jack pine carrying food for young. Michigan, USA, July.
Landscape of beach on Cat Island. Bahamas. April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01604573
Karine Aigner / Landscape of beach on Cat Island. Bahamas. April 2017.
Landscape of beach on Cat Island, Bahamas, April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01604578
Karine Aigner / Landscape of beach on Cat Island, Bahamas, April 2017.
Portrait of scientist Nathan Cooper holding radio-telemetry equipment to track Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii). Cat Island, Bahamas. April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01612715
Karine Aigner / Portrait of scientist Nathan Cooper holding radio-telemetry equipment to track Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii). Cat Island, Bahamas. April 2017.
Portrait of scientist Nathan Cooper with telemetry device. Cat Island, Bahamas.  -  Karine Aigner
01604600
Karine Aigner / Portrait of scientist Nathan Cooper with telemetry device. Cat Island, Bahamas.
Scientist Nathan Cooper at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center holding Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) during tagging study. CAt Island, Bahamas. April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01604577
Karine Aigner / Scientist Nathan Cooper at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center holding Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) during tagging study. CAt Island, Bahamas. April 2017.
Scientist Nathan Cooper at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center holding Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) during tagging study. CAt Island, Bahamas. April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01604576
Karine Aigner / Scientist Nathan Cooper at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center holding Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) during tagging study. CAt Island, Bahamas. April 2017.
Portrait of a Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) held in researchers hand. Cat Island, Bahamas, April 2017.  -  Karine Aigner
01604582
Karine Aigner / Portrait of a Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) held in researchers hand. Cat Island, Bahamas, April 2017.
Wild sage / Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata) on black background, a favourite food of the Kirtland's Warbler food. Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) Cat Island, Bahamas.  -  Karine Aigner
01604598
Karine Aigner / Wild sage / Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata) on black background, a favourite food of the Kirtland's Warbler food. Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) Cat Island, Bahamas.
Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to capture the...  -  Karine Aigner
01604579
Karine Aigner / Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to capture the...
Scientists Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to...  -  Karine Aigner
01604587
Karine Aigner / Scientists Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to...
Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to capture the...  -  Karine Aigner
01604570
Karine Aigner / Nathan Cooper and Stephen Caird play the call of a Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) to elicit a response from wild warblers. This is so they know where to set up a mist net to capture the...
Scientist Nathan Cooper detangles an endangered Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) from the mist net. This bird was caught for tagging during research into migration and behaviour. Cat Isla...  -  Karine Aigner
01604590
Karine Aigner / Scientist Nathan Cooper detangles an endangered Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) from the mist net. This bird was caught for tagging during research into migration and behaviour. Cat Isla...
Next page