Written by Elizabeth Mojica and Carla Schneider
May 7, 2010
Over the past 5 years, the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) has tracked bald eagles using satellite transmitters to investigate movement patterns, shoreline use, communal roosting behavior and survival rates.
CCB began project EagleTrak in 2009, initiating the first ever satellite tracking effort on eagles from the southern Chesapeake Bay region. On May 5, 2010 CCB Raptor Biologist, Libby Mojica, fitted this year’s EagleTrak eaglet (male, banded NC, named Camellia, FWS band #679-01370, hatched March 11), with a GPS-PTT solar-powered satellite transmitter on May 5. Weighing 70 grams, each specialized transmitter is custom-fitted on an eagle’s back with a backpack-style Teflon harness. The life expectancy of the battery in the transmitter is 3 years, and the backpack is expected to fall off around the same time, as the harness material biodegrades.