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This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Lead and Eagles

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
29 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 31, at 09:00 PM PST
Project Owners

Thank you for your support!

January 18, 2017

We wanted to thank everyone for their support of Leaded Eagles!  In the next few weeks I will be sending out individual thank-yous and set up skype calls, etc. for those that are interested.  For anyone in the Santa Cruz area - let us know if you would like a tour of the lab! 

Because of your generous donations, over the next three to six months we will be analyzing eagle feathers - please contact Myra Finkelstein at if you would like to know the status of the study.  

Although our crowdfunding site effort has ended, the Leaded Eagles is one of our research projects and those interested can still donate through our direct UCSC link:

Thank you again for your support!  

Myra and Zeka

Ready to start buying acids!

December 18, 2016

Thank you to all of you who have donated to our project!  We were also just featured in the San Jose Mercury News:

and Myra did a 5 minute interview on science and crowdfunding this morning on KCBS radio San Francisco.

Because of your support we now have enough funds to start purchasing the special acids needed to digest the feather samples so we are on our way!  We currently have enough funds to analyze 2-3 feathers and generate the first lead exposure data from sequential samples of eagle feathers! 

Remember that your donation is tax deductible, every little bit helps and please spread the word so we can reach our goal to analyze 10 feathers.  Okay, now off to the lab!


Santa Cruz Sentinel features our project!

December 12, 2016

Local communities and social networks can be instrumental in kick starting research they care about! We were recently interviewed by Santa Cruz Sentinel contributor, Sarah Derouin, about our crowdfunding efforts for our investigation into lead exposure in bald and golden eagles across the country (see link below). Derouin provides historical context for the emergence of crowdfunding for research, and highlights the importance of these efforts as springboards for securing larger grants to complete important work. This month we can use all the help we can get to reach our goal, so please consider giving the gift of conservation science this holiday season. It takes a village!

Were the golden eagles lead poisoned?

December 10, 2016

We are almost at 20% of our goal - thank you to everyone that has supported our project!  Please share this link as we have feathers from golden eagles found dead in California and with your help we can determine if they were lead poisoned when they died. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday!

November 29, 2016

As today is Giving Tuesday we wanted to thank everyone who has donated to our project Leaded Eagles.  We almost have enough funds to analyze two feathers and - importantly - we now have enough to start purchasing the special reagents necessary to process the feathers such as optima grade nitric acid!  Thank you for supporting science!  

Which one should we analyze - a golden or bald eagle feather?

November 14, 2016

We raised enough funds to analyze an entire eagle flight feather!   However - which eagle?  

Please share this link so we do not have to choose between our beloved bald and golden eagles.  

Thank you for your support!  

Why our Veterans, eagles, and lead go hand in hand

November 11, 2016

Happy Veterans Day! In 1782, the Bald Eagle was adopted as the national bird of the United States of America. Today, this magnificent bird graces many of our institutions’ emblems, including the official seals for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. president, and many branches of our military. Eagles even find their way onto our currency. Once you start looking, you begin to see eagles everywhere in our national imagery.

Despite their cultural importance as a symbol of strength and glory, eagles were historically persecuted for their real, however exaggerated, propensity to kill livestock. To protect our nation’s eagles, congress first enacted the Lacey Act in 1900, which prohibited taking of eagles and their eggs, parts, or nests, and heavily fined violators of this law. This was a landmark legislative act to protect a valued native species, as it would be 70 years before the Endangered Species Act would become law! The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in 1940 went a step further, defining "take" as to "pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb" members of either eagle species. Now you can only "take" a bald or golden eagle with a special permit from th Secretary of the Interior.

While bald eagle populations appear stable today, the health of golden eagles is more uncertain and both species still must navigate the dangers of the human altered landscape. For instance, every year eagles die from impacting turbines at wind energy facilities because of their habit of using these same windy hillsides when hunting their prey. Another less understood impact is lead poisoning. Eagles and other avian scavengers are poisoned by spent lead ammunition and fishing weights in their food sources. In fact, due to this and other environmental concerns, the U.S. Army began adopting lead-free ammunition in 2010. We care about the national symbol of our veterans, and the eagles’ ecological importance as apex predators and scavengers. Please contribute today to help us better understand lead poisoning in eagles across the United States so we can solve this problem together. Thank you for your help.

We have almost funded a full feather for lead analysis!

November 06, 2016

Thank you to our donors!  We only need another $175 to have enough funds to analyze one of our eagle feathers - which will tell us how many times the eagle was lead poisoned and approximately how high his/her blood lead was when they were poisoned - information that up to now has never been known for eagles!  

We are on our way!

November 02, 2016

Thank you to those who have donated thus far!  If we raise 100$ more we will have sufficient funds to analyze enough sections of an eagle feather to help determine if that eagle was lead poisoned when it died  Our work on condors has helped to understand the frequency and severity of lead poisoning in the condor population and now we want to apply the same techniques for eagles. 

Welcome to Leaded Eagles!

November 01, 2016

We have officially launched!  Please consider supporting our efforts to help eagles - we will provide updates throughout the month. We want to dedicate our launch on this day 'Dia de los Muertos' to all the eagles that have died of lead poisoning.   

Our way
of Thanking You


Thank-you and research results

You will receive a personal thank-you from the scientists and receive a copy of the research results once they are published

9 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2016


Skype call with team member

You will receive the $25 perk as well as a Skype or phone call with a team member. For those interested you can also have a personalized tour of our research laboratory.

6 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2016


Photo of bald eagle

You will receive the perks for the $25 and $100 donations as well as a stunning photo of a bald eagle taken by Gary Woods

3 of 25 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2016


Be acknowledged in our paper

You will receive the perks for donating $25, $100, and $250, as well as being listed as someone who supported the research in our scientific publication.

0 of 20 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2016