Harper Bernheim Returns

By Andrew Berry

This morning, Harper Bernheim, the golden eagle, was recaptured at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Our team of researchers was successful at removing the transmitter that was attached last February as part of the ongoing golden eagle research. We were able to track Harper on his spring migratory route to his breeding grounds in Northern Manitoba on the Hudson Bay Lowlands. However, the transmitter stopped sending data in mid-May.

We spotted Harper on our trail cameras this winter at a site less than a mile from the first capture. He had spent a lot of time in this area last winter, so we figured if he returned to Bernheim, this location would give us a good chance to see him.

Harper looked healthy  and the transmitter was still attached, so plans were made to recapture him.  We began to prepare the site immediately.

On the morning of February 20, spring was in the air. Harper flew in just before 9 a.m. and was successfully recaptured. The transmitter was removed, his health was assessed, and data collected before we released him. Harper was found to be very healthy and at a good weight.  We learned so much from Harper and are grateful for the opportunity to study his movements. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of him.

Special thanks to those who contributed to the project and made this possible, including the professional expertise of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources biologists (Kate Slankard, Loren Taylor, Charlie Logsdon, and Jim Barnard), our dedicated Bernheim staff (Andrew Berry, Ronnie Moore, Rick Caldwell, JT Netherland, Kelly Vowels, Marty Ray, and Ron Griffith), Beckham Bird Club, and the Sara Brown Musselman Fund for Natural Areas.

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