Motus Tower

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What is a Motus Tower?

Check out the bird's flight paths that got picked up by our Motus tower!

Next time you are at the Zoo’s Veterinary Center, look up and spot the Motus tower. This tower is a part of the world’s largest collaborative automated radio telemetry project. Motus helps track the migration of smaller birds, bats and insects that are too small for satellites. Motus Wildlife Tracking System was created to help with research and education on the ecology and conservation of these smaller migratory species. 

The Motus tower at Nashville Zoo has been here since the fall of 2021 and over 50 birds have been picked up on their migration path. Ever wonder how long it takes a bird to fly from Costa Rica to Pittsburgh? With the Zoo’s participation in the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, we know that it took a wood thrush three days to make that trip with a stopover in Nashville! Take a look at the wood thrush’s path below.


The Motus Wildlife Tracking System has receiver stations in 34 countries and has resulted in the tagging of 322 species and 38,113 animals in total. Our Zoo team is so excited to be involved in this international community research effort to better understand, research and conserve migratory species. Data from across all the telemetry stations and hubs is provided to researchers and a condensed version is shared with the public. Stay tuned as we will update as more birds get picked up!

Posted by Nashville Zoo at 15:05

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