‘Jack,’ The Golden Eagle, Wintering In Missouri

Frank Nicoletti, director of banding at Hawk Ridge, admires the golden eagle he trapped at the Hawk Ridge banding station in November. The eagle was banded and equipped with a radio transmitter, then released.

Perhaps you remember golden eagle No. 53, the bird that was banded Nov. 12 at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The eagle, dubbed “Jack” by researchers at Audubon Minnesota, is now spending its time in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border. The bird was fitted with a GPS/satellite collar that transmits updates by sending e-mails to a satellite then back to researchers.

Jack has been in that part of Missouri since Christmas, said Mark Martell, director of bird conservation at Audubon Minnesota. The eagle, a male thought to be at least 5 years old, was trapped by Frank Nicoletti, director of banding at Hawk Ridge.

The eagle’s locations are noted each hour during daylight hours and stored in the small transmitter he carries on his back. Every three days, the locations are sent to a satellite, which e-mails the data to Martell.

Golden eagles that migrate through northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin often spend their winters in southeastern Minnesota or western Wisconsin, but Jack decided to go farther south.

To follow updates on eagle No. 53, go to mn.audubon.org/golden-eagle-conservation.