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Young Eagles "Join" Research Program

Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury are now part of a multi-year study of eagles in the midwest. Tuesday morning tracking devices were attached to the three eaglets from the nest near the Arconic plant in Riverdale.

Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury are 8 to 9 weeks old, and still several weeks away from flying. They were removed from the nest for a couple of hours, and the tracking devices attached, by Trish Miller, from West Virginia University, and lead researcher for the Midwest Eagle Migration Study.

Miller is now following the movements of 42 eagles in 7 states and two Canadian provinces - some have even flown as far as the Arctic Circle. She wants to know what affects their movements, and how hazardous electrical lines and wind turbines are for them.

"When they're in these riparian areas along the waterways, along the Mississippi, they're relatively safe from those sorts of interactions. It's just when they move out into the farmlands and those areas, we want to know what drives those movements and it has much to do with weather."

The tracking devices can tell her their location, and if flying, their direction and altitude.

The three eaglets are the latest offspring of Liberty and Justice, who've been nesting and raising their young, in a nest near the Arconic plant since 2010. You can watch the nest from the webcam feed.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.