Misha is alive!

We continue to present you the stories of the Red-breasted Geese, whose flyway we follow with satellite transmitters. Today we will tell you the fate of Misha, who was the first marked Red-breasted Goose in May 2019 in Kazakhstan. The information we received about it from the transmitters showed us that it was a strong and hardy bird that was always among the first to fly.

Last winter, while Misha was in Romania, the transmitter stopped transmitting in early January in the Danube Delta region. We were unable to gather information about what happened to the bird and suggested that it may have died.

About a week ago, the device started sending a signal again, from the place that is 130 km away, where Misha’s location was last established. A team of our project partners – Bogdan Albu, Viorel Fieraru and Mustata Ionel from Braila Nature Park went to the site to check the signal and found the transmitter.

The most likely version of what happened to Misha is that the harness tore and the device fell from the goose’s back. The straps of the transmitter are designed to fall with the device if they break in one point, so that the device does not interfere with the bird.

Falling from Misha’s back, the transmitter fell into the water of the swamp, which dried up during the summer season. After that the solar panel recharged the device, sending a signal to us.

There is no evidence and traces that the bird has died. It  can be identified by the rings it has on its legs – metal and colored plastic.
We will place Misha’s transmitter to mark a new bird in the winter or spring of next year.

The Red-breasted Goose Misha was named after Mikhail Kalashnikov – a recently graduated master of biology from the University of North Kazakhstan, who was very active in the field and practically caught all the Red-breasted Geese during the expedition, on which we placed satellite transmitters.