Second golden eagle captured and released at Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY--A golden eagle was released back into the wild Feb. 9 by the Camp Ripley Environmental Team. This is the second golden eagle captured and released at Camp Ripley in the past three years, as part of the Minnesota National Guard conser...
CAMP RIPLEY-A golden eagle was released back into the wild Feb. 9 by the Camp Ripley Environmental Team. This is the second golden eagle captured and released at Camp Ripley in the past three years, as part of the Minnesota National Guard conservation program.
The project collects data about the migration and habitat use of golden eagles as well as frequency of travel for each bird. Until recently, researchers at Camp Ripley didn't believe golden eagles were regular winter residents in the central part of Minnesota, but noticed the eagles on trail cameras meant to monitor wolves in the area.
"Our first golden eagle, Ripley, was outfitted with a GPS-linked satellite transmitter and is being tracked as part of a project with The National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota," said Brian Dirks, animal survey coordinator on Camp Ripley, in a news release.
Volunteer wildlife technician Nate Wesenberg monitored and trapped the eagle, known as Victor, on the afternoon of Feb. 8. "It was almost a 30-hour project, with not a lot of action and kinda cold," added Wesenberg, who baited and observed in 22 degrees below zero temperatures in order to capture Victor. "When he finally moved on the carcass, I triggered the bow net remotely and covered him so he wouldn't get stressed or hurt himself."
Following the capture, an Argos/GPS solar powered, backpack transmitter was fit to Victor by Mark Martell, a Golden Eagle Project volunteer. The GPS transmitter is about the size of a pack of gum and was fitted using a small fabric backpack. The desired intent is to not interfere with the bird in any way and does not limit their ability or daily routine.