Tracking the health of Washington’s coastal raptors

After banding and before release to the wild, Coastal Raptors takes blood and feather samples, which are used to assess exposure to contaminants and disease. Many of the Peregrine Falcons are re-captured and re-sampled one or more years after initial capture, providing a valuable means to assess their exposure levels over time. Coastal Raptors sends samples for testing to labs all over the U.S.

In addition to this ongoing effort, Varland recognized that small amounts of additional blood could be set aside for genetics research, and contacted Sharon Birks, Burke Museum genetic resources collection manager. Birks was happy to provide advice on how to prepare blood samples and associated data from field work, which resulted in a donation of 150 tissue samples to the Burke’s genetic resources collection earlier this year.

Article Source: Burke Museum