News from the network

We're finally tagging grassland birds!

The moment I've been waiting for has arrived! In the past week, Alice Boyle and MS student Logan Anderson (KSU) tagged their first 4 Grasshopper Sparrows on the Konza Prairie. These are the first of 40 that we plan to tag this season--each wears a small solar-powered tag from CTT that not only communicates with the network of towers, but also these local grids of "nodes" which are really mini-recievers. Logan is experimentally testing ideas about how and why woody encroachment drives down the abundance of grassland-dependent species. These tags will also allow us (hopefully!) to detect the scales and patterns of their movements outside of the Konza Prairie, this season and beyond. Stay tuned for a more thorough description of his innovative experiment! 

29 May 2024

Kansas Motus in the news!

This week, Rex Buchanan from KPR did a great little spotlight on our newly-deployed station at the KU Biological Station! If you missed it, you are can read or listen to the segment here

22 Sep 2023

Five new Kansas Motus stations!

Over the summer of 2023, Kansas Motus made huge progress on developing our infrastructure! We installed new stations at the KU Field Station, on a private property near Olsburg, at the Ross Natural History Reserve, at Prairie State Park (actually just over the state line in MO), and at Fort Leavenworth. There are an additional four in progress right  now, so with those installed by others in Kansas, we will be up to 17 stations in Kansas. That is pretty phenomenal given that all of this has been achieved without major funding or dedicated personnel. It is a testament to the committments of so many of you who care about grasslands, birds, and support local science and conservation. I want to thank the Williamsons (Lawrence), the Jefferies (Olsburg), Wichita Audubon, the Kansas Ornithological Society, Evergy, and the Kansas Association of Zoos for helping us financially, making these installations possible.  
There is exciting tracking news... but that news can wait for a future date. If you'd like to sign up for email updates from Kansas Motus,  join our google group directly (KansasMotus) or pop us an email and we'll add you directly. 

29 August 2023


Motus at the Kansas Natural Resources conference

In February, we had a chance to update our local natural resources professionals on the status of this project. To the left is the poster which includes our most recent map... so many installations planned and FUNDED that we hope to get up and running in the next few months. 

13 March 2023

The story of a fly-by-night rail

On 8 April 2022, Dr. Auriel Fournier (pictured, right) captured a Virginia Rail at her field site at the Forbes Biological station in Illinois.  She is an expert in rails, and has deployed 74 motus tags on this species so far. The rail hung around Illinois for a while, and then on 23 May, it got started a big flight, being detected the same day in SE Iowa, then "off the radar" (no stations!) until pinging 2 stations in central Saskatwewan. Still heading NW, the bird disappeared into boreal forest for the rest of the summer, presumably breeding in some, nice, buggy bog.  On 26 September, however, our little rail was detected 3 times over the course of a single night. First, she flew past the Konza Prairie, then pinged the two newest receiver stations in in our network!  Both the Flint Hills NWR and our new Emerald City installation detected this guy within a week of installation! The latest from our rail is that it is passed near Galveston TX on 17 October... on its way, where, I wonder?  Ain't motus great?

2 Dec 2022

New stations & local training

Many exciting developments have occurred recently! The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies installed a new station at Kirwin NWR in the North Central part of the state, and several others have moved into production phase or have committed to making this happen in the next year. At this point, we have at least 19 in the works in the state! The next one to be installed will be at a private property in SE Kansas. The landowner has graciously allowed us to use the installation and his property to host a training workshop! We have dubbed this installation, the "Emerald City" for obvious reasons! We will be firming up a date very soon, so if you are interested in participating, then please let us know by filling out this short survey, and sending me an email (aboyle [at] 

18 July 2022