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How far can prairie chickens go? GPS finds out

by GPS4US 2013-09-04 16:18

Ever wonder how far prairie chickens can travel over the course of a summer?

No? Well, take a second and wonder about it now. We’ll wait…

Done? Ok, well, we’re guessing you didn’t come close to the right answer, because a GPS-tracked prairie chicken recently traveled 1,180 miles over the course of the summer. We were shocked too.

Biologists tracked the bird – known as Bird No. 112 – after releasing it in Iowa on April 4. Since then, Bird No. 112 meandered to Madison County, Iowa and then looped its way around southern Iowa and Northern Missouri before settling close to its original starting point.

"We did expect a range of maybe 50 miles. We really didn't expect this distance," Jen Vogel, a post-doctoral research associate at Iowa State University, who has monitored Bird No. 112, told USA Today. "Nobody really knows why," Vogel said. "Everyone is taken by surprise by the distance she has traveled."

The bird was tagged with nine others, but the rest either shed the device or were attacked by predators.

As USA Today points out, the distance between Des Moines, Iowa and Las Vegas is just over 1,200 miles. That should give you some perspective on Bird No. 112’s activities.

Now, we have to admit we don’t have any prairie chicken-tracking devices in stock right now. But if you’re looking for the perfect tool for your hunting dog, might we suggest the Garmin Astro 320 and DC 50 Bundle?

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