This is Wisconsin bird news, but still pretty cool, so hope you will enjoy reading this!
On February 16, 2012, the National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota released a golden eagle fitted with a satellite transmitter near Waupaca, WI. By tracking golden eagles known to use the blufflands in winter, The Golden Eagle Project strives to understand migration patterns, breeding origins and winter habitat needs for these birds.
Golden Eagle Project Co-coordinator Scott Mehus notes, "This bird shows that the range of wintering golden eagles may be larger than any of us expected." The Golden Eagle Project conducts an annual survey and has found the consistent presence of golden eagles wintering in the blufflands of southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. This year's survey on January 21, 2012 recorded the presence of 129 golden eagles in the survey area.
"The release yesterday of a golden eagle from north central Wisconsin will add important information to the growing body of data on golden eagles wintering in the Upper Midwest" says Golden Eagle Project Co-coordinator Mark Martell of Audubon Minnesota. Golden Eagle 45 (Jeanette) was trapped in Waupaca County, Wisconsin on Wed. afternoon (Feb 15) at 4:15pm. We banded and tagged the bird on Thursday and released her around noon. Eagle 45 is a large adult female weighing in over 14 pounds. She had been feeding on deer carcasses in the area and was caught on trail cams since the beginning of January. This represents our most eastern capture and it will be very exciting to see where she ends up. Her immediate reaction after being captured was to leave the immediate area and move about 11 miles north.
The release of this eagle is part of an on-going project investigating golden eagles that winter in Wisconsin and Minnesota. A golden eagle released in 2009 migrated from western Wisconsin and spent the summer north of the Arctic Circle. Photos and maps detailing the migrations and location of these birds are available at NationalEagleCenter.org and MN.Audubon.org.
The Golden Eagle Project is a partnership of the National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota, with support from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Non-Game Division, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and funding support through Minnesota's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Scott A. Mehus
Education and Eagle Research Director
NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER
50 Pembroke Avenue
Wabasha Minnesota 55981
651-565-5357 - Fax
651-565-4989 ext. 101
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