Trackers to monitor rare bird of prey species

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Satellite trackers have been placed on two square-tailed kites in a bid to learn more about the rare birds of prey.

In a project from Green Adelaide, the movements of the two young female birds will be checked to build a better picture of their preferred habitats.

The birds are so rare that over the past decade, there have been as few as three breeding pairs spotted in South Australia each year.

Ecologist Jason van Weenen said the project would help shed light on the preferred habitat of the species.

"Square-tailed kites are known to prefer forest and woodland areas, and satellite tracking will provide useful information on the amount and type of preferred habitat of the birds," he said.

"As higher order predators, the presence of square-tailed kites is a great indication of a healthy ecosystem."

The trackers were fitted just before the two young birds were ready to leave their nests.

One called Goldie was the first to leave, followed two weeks later by Betty.

"The satellite data we're receiving is building a picture of the sort of distances the young birds are travelling," Mr van Weenen said.

"The data will help take some of the guesswork out of where these birds spend their time through autumn and winter, when they disappear from the greater Adelaide area."

The project was also expected to pave the way for more trackers to be placed on young kites during the next breeding season.