Bald eagle banding helps national bird fly high

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge just south of Interstate 10 in Gautier is the site where several bald eagles nest.
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 3:06 PM CST
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GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Banding together to track bald eagles in their natural habitat is the goal of a collaboration with Mississippi Power, Mississippi State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bringing about the fourth eagle banding excursion.

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge just south of Interstate 10 in Gautier is the site where several bald eagles nest.

“We put a transmitter on these birds that work off of cell towers,” said Scott Rush, MSU associate professor. “It gives you GPS location and point locations for where the bird is at certain times of the day. It’s a solar-powered device. Before GPS, we had the bands, so if the bird was found or recaptured, you know where it was banded. At some point, that transmitter will stop working, but those bands will stay with the birds for the rest of their lives.”

Much like they do with sharks offshore, they can track these eagles with that transmitter all over the world.

“The great news is those transmitters will last for years so they get to track the birds and understand more about their behavior in South Mississippi,” said Mark Loughman, director of environmental affairs at Mississippi Power.

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