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In a joint project with Raptor View Research Institute, two satellite transmitters were placed on male, and female adult golden eagles on the MPG Ranch. Since mid-December, the female golden eagle has traveled a wide loop around the Bitterroot Valley. She spent roughly a week near the ranch, then made her way south along the western edge of the Sapphire Mountains. On December 30th, she reached her farthest southern point, near the branching of the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River south of Darby. This location is almost 60 miles from the point of her original capture. She stayed in this general area until January 14, when she made a big movement north, this time on the west side of the Valley. She is currently in the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains west of Stevensville. We were surprised to see that she seems to avoid the low-elevation valley bottom. Calving season has begun in the Valley, which may attract her to the lowlands.

About the Author

Kate Stone

Kate graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology in 2000. She pursued a M.S. in Forestry at the University of Montana where her thesis focused on the habitat associations of snowshoe hares on U.S. National Forest land in Western Montana. After completing her M.S. degree in 2003, Kate alternated between various field biology jobs in the summer and writing for the U.S. Forest Service in the winter. Her fieldwork included projects on small mammal response to weed invasions, the response of bird communities to bark beetle outbreaks and targeted surveys for species of concern like the black-backed woodpecker and the Northern goshawk. Writing topics ranged from the ecology and management of western larch to the impacts of fuels reduction on riparian areas.

Kate coordinates bird-related research at the MPG Ranch. She is involved in both original research and facilitating the use of the Ranch as a study site for outside researchers. Additionally, Kate is the field trip coordinator and website manager for the Bitterroot Audubon Society. She also enjoys gardening and biking in her spare time.