Scientists hail golden age to trace bird migration with tech

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By Christina Larson

AP Science Writer

TAKOMA PARK, Md. — A plump robin wearing a tiny metal backpack with an antenna hops around a suburban yard in Takoma Park, then plucks a cicada from the ground for a snack.

Ecologist Emily Williams watches through binoculars from behind a bush. On this clear spring day, she’s snooping on his dating life. “Now I’m watching to see whether he’s found a mate,” she said, scrutinizing his interactions with another robin in a nearby tree.

Once the bird moves on at season’s end, she’ll rely on the backpack to beam frequent location data to the Argos satellite, then back to Williams’ laptop,

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