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 hopes to understand migration patterns and breeding origins 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 today 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.
The release of this eagle is part of an on-going project investigating golden eagles that winter in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A golden 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 at NationalEagleCenter.org and Audubon Minnesota.
This golden eagle is a large adult female named “Jeanette” by the landowner and his sister after their mother. The project denotes her as Golden Eagle #45 signifying the number of the transmitter she carries. The GPS satellite linked transmitter she carries will offer location data 365 days a year from anywhere on the globe, for up to seven years. On her first day, she journeyed about 11 miles north from the release site.
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 and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and funding support through Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.