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Steve Lewis, Raptor Management Coordinator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, positions a leg band on one of the bald eagles in the bald eagle migration study being conducted by Rachel Wheat, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz. Rivets will permanently seal the band around the eagle’s leg. The bald eagles in Wheat’s study receive two different leg bands. Along with a a bright green auxiliary leg band, the eagles in Wheat's study also receive a silver aluminum U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) leg band. The bright green leg bands have larger identification information than the USGS bands making it easier to read using binoculars or a spotting scope. Wheat is conducting a bald eagle migration study of eagles that visit the Chilkat River for her doctoral dissertation. She hopes to learn how closely eagles track salmon availability across time and space. The bald eagles are being tracked using solar-powered GPS satellite transmitters (also known as a PTT - platform transmitter terminal) that attach to the backs of the eagles using a lightweight harness. Should the GPS transmitter fail or if the bird is found dead, spotted or recaptured, the leg bands can be another source of information. The latest tracking location data of this bald eagle known as "2Z" can be found here: http://www.ecologyalaska.com/eagle-tracker/2z/ . During late fall, bald eagles congregate along the Chilkat River to feed on salmon. This gathering of bald eagles in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is believed to be one of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in the world.
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- © 2013 John L. Dengler
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Alaska Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Alaska Department of Natural Resources Alaska State Parks America BAEA Bald Eagle Council Grounds Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Chilkat River Chilkat River Bald Eagle Preserve Department of the Interior Haines Haliaeetus leucocephalus Klukwan North America Stephen B. Lewis Steve Lewis U.S. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service US USA USFWS United States United States of America animal animals aves avian bald eagle bird bird band bird banding bird of prey bird ringing birds birds of prey eagle eagles education fauna graduate student horizontal nature one person outdoor research outdoors protected land raptors research research equipment southeast Alaska vertical wildlife