Kicker: Eagles rack up sky-high phone bill


NICK EICHER, HOST: If you’ve ever taken your cell phone outside of the country, you may already know that roaming charges can stack up pretty fast.

AUDIO: There was an error in processing your call. Please power down and turn off your phone.

Right, if only they could’ve, they might’ve. 

Here’s what happened. 

A group of scientists in Russia decided to use cell phones and text messages to track the migration patterns of eagles. 

Great idea, except for a couple of flaws in the plan. 

While flying within Russia, the eagles’ messages wouldn’t go through. So they stacked up. And the eagles, no respecters of borders, migrated into Pakistan and Iran, where the messages did go through, including four-months-worth of undeliverables.

You can see the problem. The roaming charges were devastating. It was so bad, the costs exceeded the budget for the study. 

The good news is, the researchers turned to the public, who proved more than sufficiently generous to keep the experiment going.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


(Photo/Nirav Bhatt, Facebook) The steppe eagle named Min, seen here in India last year, wears a GPS tracker that texts his coordinates to scientists. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.

iTunes

Free

Overcast

Free

Stitcher

Free

Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.