And finally… roaming charges

Russian scientists who were tracking the movements of migrating eagles were forced to start a crowdfunding campaign after their birds flew into Iran and foreign text messages from their tracking devices cost the scientists their entire budget.

Scientists were alerted to the problem earlier in October when several endangered steppe eagles transmitting coordinates via Russian mobile numbers moved into the roaming zone after spending the summer in an area without mobile coverage.

Igor Karyakin, Russian Raptors Research and Conservation Network, said: “These beasts were out of range in Kazakhstan all summer and now once they reached the super expensive Iran and Pakistan, they are spewing out hundreds of text messages with their locations.”

In response, this week scientists have launched a campaign called “Top up the eagle’s mobile” to keep the research going with the public’s help after taking out a loan to pay for the text messages costing 49 rubles each ($0.77) instead of the usual price of 2 to 15 rubles.

Mr Karyakin added: “They really left us penniless, we had to take out a loan to feed the tracker device. People are still sending money so there is hope we can keep the eagle sim cards running until they come back from their faraway journeys in early summer to Russia, where mobile connectivity is not so expensive.”