Winter Eagle Banding
Several public school, private school, and community volunteer groups visited the ranch this winter to participate in an ongoing eagle project with Raptor View Research Institute. RVRI conducts winter research on both bald and golden eagles.
Researchers weigh and measure the birds, check them for parasites, and draw blood. RVRI then tests the blood for contaminants such as heavy metals. Blood lead levels are of particular interest. Researchers then fit adult golden eagles with a GPS backpack before release. The transmitter can be seen in the photo below. This device will allow RVRI to track their migration patterns.
The birds are with researchers for about an hour. In that time, students and volunteers observe processing and assist in recording data.
Before being released back into the wild, the eagles receive a hearty meal for their contribution to science.