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Motus Tagging


Business No: 134413525RR0001

Motus Tagging

Owl sponsorships have sold out! You can still donate to support this project but you will not be able to name an owl. Thank you so much to everyone who donated!

In the summer of 2022, the Beaverhill Bird Observatory finished setting up the 4th Motus tower to be established in Alberta. Motus is a wildlife tracking system that uses small radio transmitter tags, which will ping off any Motus tower in a 15 km radius once the tag is activated. Our Motus tower has already picked up White-throated Sparrows that were originally tagged in Prince George, BC. We hope these detections are the first of many to come!

We intend to make use of this growing technology to expand our research on the spring movements of Northern Saw-whet Owls, which is understudied. Our owl banding programs take place in the fall because the Saw-whet's spring migration occurs well before the snow melts and our field station becomes accessible. Deploying Motus tags on owls will allow us to detect some of these migrants even when we cannot safely be at the station to capture them. As well, because the battery life of a tag is several years, we will be able to observe changes in migration patterns over the owl's lifespan. 

Each Motus tag costs roughly $300, and we hope that this campaign will allow us to purchase several tags to deploy during the 2023 field season. Additionally, more tower coverage is needed in Alberta! Contact us at if you are interested in setting up a MOTUS tower.