Kentucky Eagle Tracking News
December 12, 2012
Female- Rehabilitated young bald eagle, released at Doug-Travis WMA in August,
transmitter stopped sending locations on October 7, 2011.
Her last location was sent from private land in western Tennessee, along
the Mississippi River.
KDFWR personnel worked with the
Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)
to search the area of Missy’s last locations, but the search crew did not have
luck finding the transmitter, bird or any evidence as to what may have happened.
Missy had been very active, showing normal behaviors prior to the transmitter
failing and there was no direct evidence of mortality in the data that was
received. Thus, biologists could
not positively decipher whether the transmitter had simply stopped working, or
something happened to Missy. The
disposition of "Missy" and her transmitter was a mystery…until recently!
immature bald eagle, wearing a transmitter, was photographed by birdwatcher,
Kathy Dennis at Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee during the last week of October,
2012. KDFWR biologists received the photo from colleagues in Tennessee and
immediately started researching to see if this could be one of Kentucky’s
tracked birds. However, no immature
eagles that have working transmitters, tracked by KDFWR, have visited this area
recently. Furthermore, after
checking with eagle researchers in others states, it was determined that no
eagles tracked by other organizations in the eastern US have visited Reelfoot
Lake in recent times. Upon careful examination of the photo, it was
decided that the bird was likely Missy.
The eagle is the same age that Missy would be and is wearing the same
type of transmitter and leg band.
It’s unfortunate that Missy is wearing a non-working transmitter, but good to
know she is alive and healthy. Abnormal
patterns in the final data received from
Missy’s transmitter likely resulted from damage to the transmitter or
transmitter failure (rare). Even a small amount of damage to the transmitter
(e.g. the bird pecking at it) can let in moisture which will corrode internal
electronics and cause the transmitter to shut down.
Our last locations from Missy were just 15 miles from Reelfoot Lake.
Immature eagle wearing a satellite transmitter at Reelfoot Lake in October,
Photo By: Kathy Dennis
A special thanks to Kathy Dennis and David Haggard, Tennessee State Parks for
sharing information on the photographed bird!
Figure 43. Missy’s last locations in late September
and early October, 2011 and
the location of the photographed eagle at Reelfoot
Lake in October 2012.