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Rachel Wheat, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz counts the primary feathers on a bald eagle’s (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) wing in preparation for clipping a small sample for stable isotope analyses. For consistency, she removed approximately two centimeters from the fourth secondary feather of each eagle's right wing. By counting out the ten primary feathers, she knew where to start counting to access the fourth secondary. 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. Assisting Wheat with the measurements and transmitter installation by holding the eagle is Yiwei Wang, graduate student, University of California Santa Cruz. 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 Haines Haliaeetus leucocephalus Klukwan North America Rachel E. Wheat Rachel Wheat U.S. UCSC US USA United States United States of America University of California University of California - Santa Cruz Yiwei Wang animal animals aves avian bald eagle bird bird of prey birds birds of prey eagle eagles education fauna graduate student horizontal nature one person outdoor research outdoors protected land raptors research southeast Alaska wildlife