The National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota are pleased to announce the successful release of a male Golden Eagle with a radio-linked satellite transmitter today, outside Wabasha, MN. With a crowd of well-wishers and media gathered to witness this exciting event, Golden Eagle Project Co-coordinator Scott Mehus said, "This release gives us a great opportunity to learn more about Golden Eagles in Minnesota, and in turn to understand how we can better protect these magnificent birds and the habitat they rely on."
The eagle was captured on January 17th, 2011, in a radio-controlled net. The release and tracking of this bird is part of multi-year project to understand wintering Golden Eagles in the bluff lands of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
The bird was given the name Hda Wah'pe, which means "Rattling Leaf" in Dakota, and was the name given to Wapahsha II. In a brief prayer before the release, Leonard Wabasha, a descendant of Wapasha II, gave thanks for the bird and for all the assembled people.
In both 2009 and 2010, the Golden Eagle Project was able to release a golden eagle with satellite transmitters. Both eagles had been found injured, and rehabilitated prior to their release. Already these birds have provided valuable data about the migration and possible breeding range of golden eagles. Maps detailing the migrations and location of these birds are available at NationalEagleCenter.org and MN.Audubon.org.
The National Eagle Center's Golden Eagle Project aims to better understand the biology and management needs of this population of Golden Eagles and works with landowners and the public to educate and encourage appropriate habitat conservation and restoration in the Mississippi River Valley. The Project is a partnership of National Eagle Center and Audubon Minnesota, with support from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Non-Game Division, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as well as United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Winona District.