There’s a really neat Bald Eagle project going on right now in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties and it’s just too cool not to tell you about! Furthermore, our own Liam McGranaghan and Laura Weidner will be involved in this as they help monitor sites, 3 of which are located in Loudoun.
Basically what they do is identify areas that are likely to attract eagles and then ask landowners if they’d mind having a dead deer carcass in their yard to attract the birds. So far they’ve had a lot of support from people they’ve approached – hey, it’s just another form of bird feeding, right ?
The property owners keep a journal of the eagles that show up throughout the day and email it in to the project lead. With the data in hand, the project team, trained in handling eagles, returns to the property, traps the birds, collects the data needed and immediately releases the birds.
The goal of this Eagle Project is to develop a better understanding of the Bald Eagle population in the area as well as migratory patterns, health of the birds and information on the age distribution of the birds.
The project is led through the Virginia Inland Eagle Project under the auspices of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is planned to go on for 10 years to gather the trend data needed to draw strong conclusions about the population.
For more information and an excellent story told from the perspective of one of the property owners, you can read the article online here.