U.S. Forest Service biologist Ruth Stokes holds a Golden Eagle that was measured, tagged and fitted with a tracking device near Dalton, GA. USFS photo
DALTON, GA (WRCB) -
The golden eagle is a rare bird especially east of the Mississippi River. In the Chattahoochee National Forest, there have been three years of sightings, but now near Dalton, researchers have finally tagged one of the majestic birds.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Georgia bird is part of a small population of eastern Golden Eagles. The birds may fly through the Chattahoochee National Forest during the winter and migrate to Canada and Alaska in the warmer months.
The golden eagle is facing a population decline across the country. Researchers are gathering photographs of the eagles; the national forest is part of a larger study where the birds get bands and transmitters helping to determine just how many eagles there are.
The Chattahoochee is great for the type of habitat the eagles prefer -- open areas with grass and plenty of sunlight.
The golden eagle has an average wingspan of over six feet.