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 last fall and several birds have been picked up on their migration path. Our most recent bird to be picked up was a wood thrush that was originally tagged in Costa Rica. In just three days, the bird traveled from Costa Rica flew through Nashville and was later picked up near Pittsburgh. Take a look at the wood thrush’s path below.


The Motus Wildlife Tracking System has receiver stations in 31 countries and has resulted in the tagging of 282 species and 31,705 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 4:05 PM

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