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Rachel Wheat, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz, poses for a photo with bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) "4P" before releasing the bald eagle back into the wild. 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. A handmade leather hood is placed over the bald eagle’s eyes to keep the bird calm. Leather booties cover the bald eagle’s powerful talons to protect researchers during the process of taking measurements and attaching the GPS satellite transmitter. The latest location of this eagle can be found here: http://www.ecologyalaska.com/eagle-tracker/4p/ . 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 animal animals aves avian bald eagle bird bird of prey birds birds of prey eagle eagles education fauna graduate student nature one person outdoor research outdoors protected land raptors research scenery snow southeast Alaska vertical wildlife