We are thrilled to announce that we are now tracking a second eastern golden eagle, a female and companion of Harper, the golden eagle we have been tracking for four years (poll to help us name her is below). We believe this is the first pair of golden eagles to be tracked together in the eastern United States.
Working with Cellular Tracking Technologies and Conservation Science Global, we briefly captured the nearly 12-pound majestic female and outfitted her with a GPS satellite transmitter, so we will be now able to follow her movements along with Harper’s.
We are seeing that these two golden eagles spending time together. Thus far, we can see from the transmitter signals that they are roosting and flying together. We have also observed them in the field and on trail cameras together.
Golden eagles are thought to mate for life, but we do not know how or if they migrate together to Bernheim Forest in the winter. If this ends up being a breeding pair, Bernheim can learn how a pair of golden eagles interacts during migrations, winter at Bernheim Forest, and on the breeding grounds in Canada.
Our large size, at over 16,000 acres makes Bernheim a winter destination for several eastern golden eagles. Golden eagles need large forest blocks to make it through the winter, as they tend to avoid inhabited areas while staying within 5000 acres of protected interior forest. We expect the golden eagles to be at Bernheim through early March and then head north to their summer nesting grounds in Canada.
We will share the data Bernheim collects with others in the golden eagle research community, working together to expand our knowledge and protection of eastern golden eagles, which will help inform international conservation practices. We are studying their migration stopover locations and the habitat these raptors require on their journey to Bernheim from Canada.
Protecting umbrella species with large habitat requirements on top of the food chain like golden eagles positively impacts all wildlife. In this time of rapid land development, habit loss and changing climate, scientific research of this nature is critical. International efforts like this are critical to protect eastern golden eagles and all birds that migrate to Bernheim
Now we need you! Help us name this beautiful female raptor. Harper is named for the brand of bourbon Bernheim’s founder Isaac W. Bernheim sold.
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Voting ends on Wednesday, Feb. 13. We will announce the chosen name on Valentine’s Day.
A big thanks to the Beckham Bird Club and private donors for funding this important research and continuing Isaac W. Bernheim’s legacy of conservation. 90 years ago, Isaac W. Bernheim gave us a giant gift — thousands of acres of protected land where people can connect with nature and where plant and wildlife, including golden eagles, can thrive. This year we are celebrating the gift of this giant forest in many other GIANT ways.
Want to know more about our golden eagle research? Click here.