Chris DeSorbo has a B.S. in biology and M.S. in environmental studies/conservation biology. His early career field positions varied from conducting hawk counts in Washington State, to studying songbirds in Hawaii, and surveying loon populations in New Hampshire.
He joined BRI in 1998, and oversaw a Common Loon behavioral ecology and toxicology study in Maine’s Rangeley Lakes region. Over the next several years, he conducted a wide variety of BRI research projects with a continuing emphasis on Common Loon ecology, management, and the toxicology of mercury. He published two landmark papers regarding managing loon populations using rafts.
As BRI expanded its mercury research with Common Loons to include other species, DeSorbo was drawn to raptors, and BRI’s raptor program was born. In 2004, he began what has now become the most extensive Bald Eagle sampling and banding effort in Maine’s history, with close to 700 eaglets banded throughout the state. He summarized a portion of this eagle research in his graduate work, which established that lake-nesting Bald Eagles in Maine are exposed to some of the highest mercury burdens in North America.
Recent efforts for the raptor program have emphasized using satellite telemetry to answer a variety of questions about the movement patterns of Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and other raptors, surveying Maine’s Osprey population, and extensive efforts to establish baseline information on Maine’s offshore raptor migration using counts and satellite tracking to aid in wind power siting decisions.
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