Feasibility of vibration energy harvesting powered wireless tracking of falcons in flight

Maisie M. Snowdon, James Horne, Buck Gyr, Yu Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The use of wireless tagging of birds has been widely used for monitoring or tracking purposes. This include over 10 thousand wireless tracking devices currently used by the UK falconers alone. However, due to the concern of not burdening the birds with a heavy battery, the existing lightweight telemetry tracking systems can only last for days, if not hours. Falcons can have top flight speeds in excess of a hundred miles an hour, which makes it a near impossible task to track a missing falcon after the battery has been depleted. This paper investigates the feasibility of incorporating a piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting system to act as a secondary power source for the wireless tracking of falcons. The ultimate aim is to both extend the primary battery life and enable periodic burst transmissions of telemetry after the depletion of the primary battery. The presented tracking and harvesting system is lightweight and has been field trialled on a gyrfalcon at the Chester Cathedral Falconry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012049
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Early online date14 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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