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Scientists are learning more about big birds from feathers
Date:7/6/2009

the tracking technology that researchers must attach to eagles, a prohibitive cost if studying more than a few birds.

DeWoody's studies were done in Kazakhstan with imperial eagles, a top predator of international concern because its population is declining.

The feathers give a good picture of recent eagle habits because they do not survive long in Kazakhstan's winters. Any feathers collected after the winter thaw, then, had to have been recently dropped. In one study, DeWoody's team found that an area thought to have about 40 juvenile eagles living in it based on human observation actually had closer to 300.

The work also helped researchers understand more about the roosting habits of some eagles that use a nest for months at a time versus others who float around from roost to roost. Another study showed that DNA could be used to distinguish eagle species from one another, and that imperial, golden and white-tailed eagles often utilized the same roosts at the same time.


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Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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