Coastal Raptors trapped a Turkey Vulture for a research project on the movement ecology of this very important scavenger species (for an overview of the study, go to Turkey Vulture Tracking). Trouble began one week afterward.
At the time of her May 20 observation, Cyndie was conducting a Snowy Plover survey at a location known locally as Empire Spit. She spotted Glenn with 19 other Turkey Vultures feeding on a beach-cast sturgeon carcass.
Having seen the red wing-tag with letters “HJ”, she understood that I was the person to contact about her observation. (Glenn is the 4th Turkey Vulture wing-tagged by Coastal Raptors that Cyndie has seen and reported to me, the first of these dates back to 2013!). At this point we strongly suspected that the transmitter and the bird were not traveling together anymore!
I shared the latitude-longitude with Cyndie who, as Shoalwater Tribe staff, is based in Tokeland, Washington (two miles south of the last signal location). I asked Cyndie if she’d be willing to try to locate the transmitter. She was more than happy to help out!
Thanks a million to Cyndie and the rest of the Shoalwater DNR staff (below) who, working together, located the Coastal Raptors transmitter – mystery solved!