The effects of two radio transmitter attachment techniques on captive and one attachment technique on wild Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were studied. A Y-attachment method with a 160-g dummy transmitter was less apt to cause tissue damage on captive birds than an X-attachment method, and loosely fit transmitters caused less damage than tightly fit transmitters Annual survival of wild birds fitted with 65-g transmitters via an X attachment was estimated at 90-95%. As a result of high survival, only five wild birds marked as nestlings were recovered.Two of these birds had superficial pressure sores from tight-fitting harnesses It is recommended that a 1.3-cm space be left between the transmitter and the bird's b ack when radio-tagging post-fiedging Bald Eagles. Additional space, perhaps up to 2.5 cm, is required for nestlings to allow for added growth and development.
Additional Publication Details
Captive and field-tested radio attachments for bald eagles