Merrill Creek Owners Group (MCOG) donated the funds needed to purchase
the equipment for the eagle monitoring project. Originally the funds
were to be used to establish an eagle cam that would provide a birds
eye view of the activity in an eagle nest located at the reservoir.
Unfortunately, the remote location of the nest at MCR presented
insurmountable problems that prevented a cam from being installed.
The MCR staff suggested that the funds instead be utilized to purchase
(2) satellite transmitters.
13, 2011 NJDEP biologists, staff from Merrill Creek Reservoir (MCR)
ventured across the reservoir to band the bald eagle chicks that
were nesting on the edge of the lake. This was the 8th time that
biologist have banded young eagles from Merrill Creek nests, but
it was the first time that they affixed a satellite transmitter
to each of the birds. In fact this was the first time that the NJDEP
biologist had ever used a satellite transmitter on bald eagles.
The state has used traditional transmitters on eagle fledglings
that were hacked (introduced) in the lower Delaware River area from
1983-1989, but this will be the first opportunity to conduct a long-term
research project with eagles in NJ
two MCR eagle chicks, one male and one female, were fitted with
transmitters, held on their back by a harness made of Teflon ribbon.
The transmitters will allow the birds to be monitored for up to
three years as they move away from the nest and begin to establish
their own territories. Merrill Creek staff will receive the data
gathered by the satellites and will then manipulate it to make it
useable for other researchers. This critical data will allow biologists
to better manage this most magnificent bird that whose population
was once on the brink of collapse in our region.