Tuesday, January 18th at 4:oo pm, the National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota will release a golden eagle with a satellite-linked tracking device. The release will take place outside Wabasha, MN (along Wabasha County highway 32), near where the bird was captured. This release is part of an on-going project investigating golden eagles that winter in the blufflands region. By tracking, golden eagles known to use the blufflands in winter, researchers hope to better understand migration patterns and breeding origins for these birds. The Golden Eagle Project has already released two golden eagles with transmitters, and hopes to release up to six golden eagles, during this multi-year project. The eagle released in 2009, migrated from western Wisconsin and spent the summer north of the Arctic Circle. Maps detailing the migrations and location of these birds are available here.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to track this golden eagle because so little is known about them and their presence here in the blufflands.” Says Project Co-coordinator, Scott Mehus. “That’s why the National Eagle Center is involved in this pioneering effort to understand and protect these amazing birds.”
This release also comes on the heels of the 2011 Wintering Golden Eagle Survey, which took place on Saturday, January 15th, when volunteer observers combed the blufflands looking for these majestic birds. Results are not yet tabulated, but this year’s survey covered several new areas, so there is a good chance the total could top last year’s survey high of 100 golden eagles in southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa.
The Golden Eagle Project is a partnership of National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota, with support from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Non-Game Division, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as well as United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Winona District.