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Audubon golden eagle now in Canadian wilderness

SHARON — On the chilly morning of Monday, March 28, a rehabilitated golden eagle was released in the Mohawk State Forest in Cornwall by employees of the Sharon Audubon Center, along with researchers from West Virginia University and Tufts University. Before the release, a tracking transmitter was placed on the eagle so its travels could be documented. Now, nearly a month later, the eagle has made its way to Canada. Its location as of Thursday, April 14, was about 100 miles north of Montreal. The transmitter works by receiving location information from a satellite and then transmitting the information wirelessly to cellphone towers. This system only works, however, when the bird wearing the transmitter is within range of one of these towers. The path the golden eagle is now on will soon bring the bird into a remote area where it will then go “off the grid” and no longer transmit its location. After the eagle’s release in Cornwall, it traveled directly up the Hudson river toward Vermont until it veered off to fly over the Adirondack Mountains. “I think the reason why it went to the mountains is because that’s basically how this particular species finds its way back and forth from its breeding grounds,” speculated Scott Heth, director of the Sharon Audubon Center. Heth explained that there are some populations of eagles in Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula (and even farther north) that the eagle may be attempting to join. How does the eagle know these populations exist? That’s just the mystery of migration, said Heth, who noted that the distance traveled by the golden eagle is actually short in comparison to some migrations.

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