Who was that eagle with a transmitter?

Our eagle-eyed camera operators and fans spotted a transmitter on an eagle we saw near hatchery rock yesterday morning! Could it be one of ours? It wasn’t close enough to see a band or transmitter number, but here is what we know.

  • The eagle we saw was 4-1/2 years old or older. While we initially thought it was a full adult, Brett has trapped 4-1/2 year-olds with yellow beaks and white heads. If it was one of our eaglets, it would be D24 or D1. We know that D24 was in the Decorah area on February 14, 2020. We haven’t heard from D1 since 2014.
  • Based on what little we can see, the eagle appears to be wearing a transmitter rig like the one that Brett uses. Brett told us that, as far as he knows, no one else in the area is using one. If this wasn’t one of our eaglets, it could be another eagle that Brett trapped, or (not likely but not impossible) an eagle that was released by a rehabber.
  • The eagle has a band on its right leg. Brett bands his eagles on the right leg unless he is banding siblings (think D24 and D25, or D35 and D36).

While we don’t know who this is, the combination of location and transmitter style mean that it could very well be one of Brett’s eagles, and possibly one of the Decorah eagles! Both D24 and D1 have transmitters that have stopped talking to us, but we’ll scrutinizing every eagle we see to learn more if we can!