Mr. Hannah’s Journey

A recent email thread from bird-watchers in my hometown got me thinking about the interaction between technology, nature, and humans. An osprey, a fish-eating bird of prey, named Mr. Hannah, has traveled over 3,000 miles south from New England into the Amazon over the past few weeks, and thanks to an electronic transmitter strapped onto him, humans now have even more reason to envy birds and their worldly travels. We may be able to use calculus, and we’re smart enough to worry about the future, but I’d bet that you might trade some brain power for a pair of wings and a self-guided tour of the globe. The maps show the September and October journey of Mr. Hannah down into South America. See this website for further detail of Mr. Hannah’s journey.


The specifics of bird migrations have long been an incomplete puzzle to scientists, but with data from birds such as Mr. Hannah the Osprey, the puzzle pieces are falling into place. Many technologies have converged to make this possible. GPS and satellite communication hardware have become small enough to be carried by a bird, batteries have reached a critical size, power, and weight to be highly portable, and information systems now exist to receive and manage the data as it is sent from remote transmitters.

There is no doubt that this miniaturization trend will continue to accelerate. The limits of size, power, and complexity will be pushed to satisfy our increasingly demanding expectations and will enable scientific investigation, such as that seen with Mr. Hannah, that was impossible just a few years ago. New technologies will allow huge leaps in what we know and understand about nature and our planet, and because these technological challenges lie at the heart of Pocobor’s expertise, we’re looking forward to being part of the journey.

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