A project in Russia tracks the movements of steppe eagles through trackers that can send text messages back to research HQ about their whereabouts. There’s one problem: the eagles have been crossing into other countries and their trackers are using roaming data! Plus: the town of Remer, Minnesota is home to a very large eagle that doesn’t get around. Oh, and also, Bigfoot.

Roaming Russian eagles leave scientists broke (Agence France-Presse)

Eagle Statues (Roadside Architecture)

Cool Weird Awesome can fly higher than an eagle, and Patreon backers are the wind beneath its wings

Scientific research has gotten very high tech.

These days, scientists tracking wildlife don’t just attach ID tags or collars to the creatures and then watch to see when – or if – they come back.

Tracking devices can send in coordinates, so the researchers know exactly where the wildlife have been going.

That’s the basic idea of a project in Russia tracking the movements of steppe eagles, hopefully to reverse the decline in their numbers.

The eagles are wearing trackers that can send text messages back to research HQ about their whereabouts.

And that’s where the problem comes in.

Because some of the eagles cross borders. For part of the year, they leave Russia and head to Kazakhstan.

Some even go to Iran and Pakistan, and those text messages are not part of the research project’s cellular plan.

The eagles have been using roaming data!

The scientists have started a crowdfunding campaign to, as they put it, top up the eagles’ mobile so they can track their movements, wherever they may roam.

The site Roadside Architecture has a great list of big eagle statues all over the United States, including a very large eagle statue in the very small town of Remer, Minnesota.

For the record, though, the eagle is not the big draw in Remer.

The community bills itself as the Home of Bigfoot.

So just keep that in mind when you visit. And make sure your data plan can handle your trip.