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Rachel Wheat, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz uses calipers to take length and depth measurements of the beak of a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) captured in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. In this photo she is determining the culmen length. Beak measurements and toe claw (hallux) length are two measurements that help determine the gender of a bald eagle. Female bald eagles typically have larger beaks, feet and talons. This reversal of gender size is called reverse sexual size dimorphism. 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. 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.
- Bald eagle migration research - 10.jpg
- © 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 Mitutoyo 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 caliper calliper digital caliper digital calliper eagle eagles education fauna graduate student horizontal nature one person outdoor research outdoors protected land raptors research research equipment southeast Alaska wildlife