Passive Animal RFID tag monitor nest in carmine bee‐eater

The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is common in animal‐monitoring applications in the wild and in zoological and agricultural settings.

RFID is used to track animals and to collect information about movements and other behaviors, as well as to automate or improve husbandry. Disney’s Animal Kingdom® uses passive RFID animal tag to monitor nest usage by a breeding colony of northern carmine bee‐eaters.

We implemented RFID technologies in various equipment configurations, initially deploying low‐frequency (LF) 125 kHz RFID (INTELLHYDRO animal RFID tag, RFID implantable microchip, RFID animal bio-glass tag)and later changing to high‐frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz RFID technology, to monitor breeding behavior in the flock.

We installed antennas connected to RFID readers (INTELLHYDRO RFID HANDHELD READER) at the entrances of nest tunnels to detect RFID transponders (INTELLHYDRO RFID poultry leg band) attached to leg bands as birds entered and exited tunnels. Both LF animal RFID tag and HF RFID systems allowed the characterization of nest visitation, including the timing of nest activity, breeding pair formation, identification of egg‐laying females, participation by nonresidents, and detection of nest disruptions.

However, we collected a substantially larger volume of data using the increased bandwidth and polling speed inherent with HF‐animal RFID tag, which permitted animal RFID tag capture of multiple birds simultaneously and resulted in fewer missed nest visits in comparison to LF RFID tag.

Herein, we describe the evolution of the animal RFID tag setups used to monitor nest usage for more than 7 years, the types of data that can be gained using animal RFID tags at nests, and how we used these data to gain insights into carmine bee‐eater breeding behavior and improve husbandry.

The RFID animal tags enable users such as livestock farmers, breeders and veterinarians to track livestock or identify pets and exotics. These RFID animal tags can be used for many applications such as farming, laboratory research and even for pet owners. INTELLHYDRO is able to supply two kinds of RFID Animal Tags: RFID Ear Tag & RFID Glass Tag.

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