For the Sake of Science...and Electricity: Tracking Bald Eagles Through the Midwest

For the past three years, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service researchers have been using modern telemetry to collect data to learn more about the flight patterns and other behavioral information of bald eagles. Originally funded by a small American Eagle Foundation grant, the project has expanded its funding to more than $250,000 thanks to a variety of partners, including ITC.

As a result, the program has been able to trap and telemeter more than 30 eagles and collect information that will inform and guide decisions on locations for man-made structures like wind farms to minimize impact to eagles throughout the Midwest.

Since our transmission systems cross all types of environments, we feel it is our duty to be good stewards of the land, water and air. We integrate a sustainable approach to the environment in all the work we do, from our building operations to collaborating with partners to plant native species and protect wildlife within our transmission corridors.

Last year, ITC coordinated with the USFWS to install marker balls and bird diverters, yellow-coiled wire segments that make a line more visible to birds, on a transmission line along the Mississippi River – a route that bald eagles tend to migrate along according to the telemetry studies.

Map with lines showing eagle migration patterns