31 May 2011

29 May: Why names?

When we followed the Light-bellied Brent Geese with satellite transmitters back in 2001 we named them just to give them a bit of personality – instead of just using the ringcode ”white DY” seen above on this beautiful more than 15 year old female goose, still going strong in 2011. To keep up this tradition, we would like to introduce you to:

Magnar is named after Magnar Norderhaug from Norway, who worked for many many years with birds on Svalbard, and amongst other wrote the nice book ”Svalbards Fugler”.

Fridtjof is named after Fridtjof Mehlum from Norway, who together with Jesper Madsen took the initiative to start studies of the breeding biology of the Light-bellied Brent Geese in Svalbard, and also published data about their distribution prior to and after breeding.

Steve is named after Steve Percival from England, who initiated large-scale colour-ringing of Light-bellied Brent Geese. He caught and ringed 333 geese during 1991-98 in Lindisfarne, the only regular wintering site of international importance for birds from our study population in the UK.

Ebbe is named after Ebbe Bøgebjerg from Denmark, who fired the cannon-nets and caught the first 11 Light-bellied Brent Geese we followed by satellite telemetry in 1997 and 2001. Before his retirement he also lead our catch-teams when we colour-ringed 140 Light-bellied Brent Geese in Denmark during 1997-2006.

Caretaker is named after BirdLife Denmarks local caretaker group of EU Special Protection Areas no. 27 and 25, the two areas where we caught the Brent Geese. The combined area annually holds about half of the flyway population is spring. The caretakers contribute to our studies of Light-bellied Brent Geese by counting them, reading their rings, and also acted as handymen during the 2011 captures.

Niels is named after Niels Søndergaard from Denmark, who together with his 140 dairy cattle and their calves takes care of most of the saltmarshes on Agerø. Without grazing management the marshes would be overgrown with reedbeds or very tall marshes – and the geese would loose one of their most important spring-fattening areas.

Loff is named after Longyearbyen Feltbiologiske Forening (LoFF)– a dedicated group of primarily amateur naturalists but also professional biologists, many of which over the years have contributed with important knowledge about the Brent Geese in Svalbard. http://www.loff.biz/LoFF_Om_oss.html

Jan Ove is named after Jan Ove Bustnes from Norway, who came down with the first handful of satellite transmitters in 1997 – and helped us to start studies of Brent Goose migratory behaviors with modern technologies.