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Where the Wild Birds Are
by Ariel Kallenbach
A small boat cuts through the frigid January waters of the Chesapeake Bay. On a moonless night, lit only by the few spotlights they brought along, Alicia Berlin and her team from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center are plastered in ice and dressed head to toe in fluorescent orange and yellow float gear as they scout for their target.
Her crew is one of the teams participating in a five-year study of three diving bird species that use the federal waters in the mid-Atlantic during winter and migration. Released this month, the study, funded by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), followed avian movements using innovative satellite tag tracking technology.
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