This website summarizes the work of researchers that are affiliated with the research groups of Theunis Piersma at the University of Groningen and the Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and our many collaborators.

This map uses tracks of one bird in each flyway to take you along to where our projects on "tracking and tracing shorebirds" are hosted. Each flyway has a dedicate page where you will find more tracks and specific links [...] more

Tracks of a specific species

Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosaview tracks
Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponicaview tracks
Red Knot

Red Knot

Calidris canutusview tracks
Eurasian Spoonbill

Eurasian Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodiaview tracks
Eurasian Whimbrel

Eurasian Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopusview tracks
Eurasian Curlew

Eurasian Curlew

Numenius arquataview tracks
Nordmann's Greenshank

Nordmann's Greenshank

Tringa guttiferview tracks

Latest news

Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 10, 2023 11:16

#Whimbrel SOGA's will & strength to get home this summer, together with an amazing command of #Atlantic geography & weather, paid off. Tagged on 11Nov19 in Bijagós by José, Afonso & Roeland, her tracks are here: https://t.co/ZWAi0EJ5vG.
Time to (re-)read https://t.co/u8EU6dqEAG https://t.co/6l3CoYlYCn https://t.co/JxjIiEjSEl

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 9, 2023 20:03

SAMIUL & ANIS are 2 recently tagged black-tailed #godwits in Bangladesh, that may be too young to start northward #migration to breed, but instead explored wetlands far west in Kolkata region in India. Both returned to Meghna #wetlands in Bangladesh. See https://t.co/533FNNe2MO https://t.co/e7wi8Ai28Q https://t.co/o0LhwyuF82

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 9, 2023 13:06

On 29 May 2022 Godwit 'Noorderpolder' landed in the Bonanza saltpans, where it spent a month bf flying to W Africa.

On 6 June 2023 'Noorderpolder' again landed in Bonanza, but then moved to Tagus nxt day, now using same roost as 3 other tagged Godwits. 👀
https://t.co/0k3EIuDNby https://t.co/3tAAk0YAah

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 6, 2023 22:33

What is happening?!
A mid-air near-miss of black-tailed #godwit and #hare. Recorded in early morning by nestcamera for population monitoring by #TeamSkries of @univgroningen.
Een #haas en een #grutto komen elkaar in het luchtruim boven een vochtig kruidenrijk #weiland tegen. https://t.co/YbedBhB7Z4

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 6, 2023 22:16

Hoe de #grutto's de #Oostvaardersplassen bereiken, en waar ze vandaan komen, is allemaal te volgen op https://t.co/0k3EIuDNby.
Gewoon inzoomen op Nederland, weer uitzoomen, of 1 vogel kiezen, en je zult ontdekken dat er al gezenderde grutto's uit OVP naar Spanje zijn vertrokken. https://t.co/rxeXg4ysJJ https://t.co/aRSN5uYYpe

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 5, 2023 09:17

Een team onder leiding van Leo Zwarts deed 2 keer het vrijwel onmogelijke: (1) de hele #Sahel (op statistisch adekwate manieren) bemonsteren op #bomen, #vogels en menselijke activiteiten, en (2) het prachtig analiseren en opschrijven in 14 artikelen in @ARDEA_journal van jun23. https://t.co/oXSpgZcd3Y

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Tweet @GlobalFlyway - Jun 5, 2023 06:59

Black-tailed #godwit ORPA migrated to Kazakhstan for the second year after tagging, and was joined by fellow limosa ANNE. The newly tagged bird GERANDA, after circumflying the Himalayas, also migrated to that region and is obviously a limosa bird too. https://t.co/533FNNe2MO https://t.co/SmuofVQxgH https://t.co/LoQrDlAGsI

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Recherche sur les limicoles du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritanie

Cette année, c'était notre 21eme expédition hivernale consécutive de recherche sur les limicoles dans le Parc Nationale du Banc d’Arguin. La première expédition a eu lieu en novembre 2002. L'accent de ces expéditions est basé sur la démographie des limicoles et se concentre principalement sur le bécasseau maubèche, la barge rousse et la spatule blanche. Dans le passé, nous ...

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Grutto landschap project: Jaarverslag 2022

Jaarverslag 2022

“On the way to Godwit-proof…”

De staat van ons landschap:
Biomonitoring van duurzame
landbouw innovatie

De landbouw in Nederland staat voor een grote uitdaging: het produceren van genoeg, veilig en gezond voedsel zonder dat dit ten koste gaat van de leefbaarheid op het platteland voor plant, mens en dier. En zonder dat het de planeet in bredere zin zwaar...

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Recherche sur les bécasseaux maubèches du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritanie

En mar et avril 2022 nous sommes allés au Banc d'Arguin pour attraper des bécasseaux maubèches pour la recherche par satellite. L’objectif était d'équiper bécasseaux maubèches avec des émetteurs satellites afin de suivre leurs routes de migration et leur synchronisation vers la mer des Wadden et les zones de reproduction Sibériennes. Nous avons réussi à capturer des oiseaux ...

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Grassland management suitable for Black-tailed Godwits is rare in The Netherlands

Yuhong Li, Theunis Piersma, Jos Hooijmeijer, and Ruth Howison
The majority of Dutch grasslands are not suitable for our national bird, the Black-tailed Godwit, as a result of high management intensity. In areas with intensive agriculture, Godwits need more space to meet all their resource needs (Fig. 1). Yuhong Li and fellow researchers from the University of Groningen (GELIFES) draw th...

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Land-use intensity impacts habitat selection of ground-nesting farmland birds in The Netherlands

Post-war intensification of agriculture has extensively modified the countryside of Europe, transforming most semi-natural
grassland habitats into homogeneous fields, characterized by mechanization, deep drainage and the increasing use of artificial fertilizers and agrochemicals (Benton et al., 2003; Emmerson et al., 2016), and unfavourable to farmland birds that require varied habitat ...

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Projects with tracks (view projects on map)

Bar-tailed Godwit -- East Atlantic Flyway -- GPS-GSM

12413 deployed locations

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Bar-tailed Godwit -- East Atlantic Flyway -- PTT

47704 deployed locations

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Bar-tailed Godwit migration, New Zealand

37317 deployed locations

Determine how godwits use the Yellow Sea region on northward migration in the face of habitat degradation and catastrophic food supply loss. This is a collaboration involving the Global Flyway Network, Birds NZ, Massey University and Birds Canada.

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Black-tailed Godwit Iberia - NL 2019

90947 deployed locations

Btg caught in Portugal 8-01-2019.


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Black-tailed Godwit NL 2021 Microwave

2241 deployed locations

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Black-tailed Godwits -- VeenVitaal

2611 deployed locations

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Black-tailed Godwits Extremadura (HQXS)

3441 deployed locations

Oxidative stress during energetically demanding states and its transgenerational consequences in migrants (OXISTRESS)


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Black-tailed Godwits Extremadura (Lotek)

13459 deployed locations

Oxidative stress during energetically demanding states and its transgenerational consequences in migrants (OXISTRESS)


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Black-tailed godwits NL South Holland

4867 deployed locations

In nature reserve De Nesse and Berkenwoude of Zuid-Hollands Landschaps and agricultural area management by Agrarisch Collectief Krimpenerwaard measures were taken to improve the habitat of waders, such as the black-tailed godwits. Previous studies show that the number of waders increase, however do they also succeed in raising chicks successfully? By tracking families we will be able to determine the breeding success, but most importantly learn more about the habitat use during the chick phase.

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Duemmer Adult Godwits_2018

15137 deployed locations

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Duemmer Adult Godwits_2019

13407 deployed locations

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Duemmer Adult Godwits_2020

19976 deployed locations

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Duemmer Adult Godwits_2021

18632 deployed locations

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Duemmer Godwit Chicks_2021

10130 deployed locations

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Eurasian Spoonbill - Lok - Netherlands 2019-2023

1489203 deployed locations

For background information about the project, see https://www.nioz.nl/en/expertise/wadden-delta-research-centre/expertise-wadden/birds/how-do-migratory-birds-find-their-way

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GrassBirdHabitats Adult Godwits_2022

21832 deployed locations

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GrassBirdHabitats Adult Godwits_2023

131258 deployed locations

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GrassBirdHabitats Common Snipes_2023

5984 deployed locations

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hand-raised juveniles 2016

25188 deployed locations

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hand-raised juveniles 2017

22171 deployed locations

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Limosa limosa Black-tailed godwit China/Australia

45551 deployed locations

Black-tailed Godwits are widely distributed in Eurasia. More than 10,000 godwits stage in the northern part of Bohai Bay in China – Hangu, Tianjin and Nanpu, Tangshan coast during spring – to refuel at saltpans and mudflats. Their staging period lasts about 45 days (from beginning of April till the middle of May). However, there is very little knowledge about this population: where is there breeding and wintering ground? We have collected more than 40 resightings along the EAAF, and only three showed a connection between Maipo Wetland in Hong Kong and Bohai Bay, not even one of the Bohai godwits was connected with Northwest Australia, which is the main wintering ground of melanuroides Black-tailed Godwits – the only described subspecies in this flyway. Furthermore, morphologically, the population that appears in Bohai Bay have thicker and longer bills, larger body sizes and paler plumage than the described melanuroides godwits.

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Nordmann's Greenshank - Global Messenger - Thailand

989 deployed locations

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Nordmann's Greenshank - Lotek PinPoint 75- Thailand

76 deployed locations

Tracking Nordmann's Greenshank from SE Asia (Thailand) using Lotek PinPoint 75s


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Red Knot Germany spring 2022

1467 deployed locations

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Red Knot New Zealand-China

1766 deployed locations

This project aims to clarify the stopover sites used by Red Knots between New Zealand an their Russian breeding grounds. Geolocator work has identified stopovers on both migration directions in either the Gulf of Carpentaria or Papua New Guinea, along the Chinese coast and in the Sea of Okhotsk and Kamchatka Peninsula, but analuyses were equivocal about which sites (or even countries) were being used. This study, using satellite telemetry, aims to identity with certainty the sites used.

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Red Knot Vici Van Gils

8484 deployed locations

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Teampiersma HQXS 2021

10133 deployed locations

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Teampiersma HQXS 2022

20502 deployed locations

Limosa limosa limosa


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Teampiersma HQXS 2023

4979 deployed locations

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Teampiersma Interrex 2023

11770 deployed locations

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TeampiersmaBD_Limosa limosa

19424 deployed locations

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Waders Tanga Tanzania

12981 deployed locations

From 15 to 27 January 2023 an international team of experts from Tanzania, Kenya and The Netherlands started the Tanga Wader project in the coastal area of Mwarongo, Tanga, Northern Tanzania, with the objective to deploy transmitters on a number of target bird species in order to obtain information about local habitat use and migration towards the breeding areas. This information helps understand the dependence of these birds on habitats and stop-over sites during migration and will create awareness of the importance of connectivity along the West Asian East African Flyway. 583 birds of 18 species were caught amongst which 200 of 4 target species. All birds were ringed and in addition, all target species were colour-ringed. 54 birds were fitted with a transmitter, using a range of transmission techniques to optimize the chances of obtaining a mix of detailed and continuous information about the whereabouts of the birds. Three months after transmitter deployment already a wealth of data has been gathered on the local habitat use by the birds and migration has started with the a number of birds demonstrating intriguing migration trajectories (situation April 2023).

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Whimbrel -- East Atlantic Flyway -- PTT

25006 deployed locations

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WWF-Hong Kong migratory bird tracking

12002 deployed locations

WWF-Hong Kong believes as problems grow in scale and complexity, we need future solutions and a creative multi-pronged approach to secure the future of wetlands and the iconic species that depend on it. With generous donation from HSBC, WWF-Hong Kong has launched the Wetland Incubator project to find conservation solutions for future thriving flyways. We aim at using tracking devices as a tool to investigate migration of shorebird species in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. To learn more about project: https://www.wwf.org.hk/en/wetlands/mai-po/wetland_incubator/

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