Bald Eagle Migration Update: February 9, 1998
Bald Eagle Migration Updates Will be Posted on MONDAYS:
Today's Report Contains
Suggestions for Student Research With Satellite Data
The migration data that will arrive from our two eagle biologists this spring provides an opportunity for you to do your own research. Read the objectives of each scientist's study in today's report. Then consider how you might design a study of your own using the same migration data. Make a hypothesis, then compare and contrast the data from each migration. For example, you may look for similarities and differences between:
Eagles Wintering in the West vs. East
How do you think eagle migration in the different regions will compare? Predict the timing and destination of each eagles' migration. What factors do you think might make them different and/or similar?
Migration Behavior from One Year to the Next
Do you think an eagle follows the same route every year? Do you think the timing of the migration is similar from year to year? As Spring, 1998 data is provided for Western Eagles #05 & #16, their Spring, 1997 data will be provided for the same dates. (Because we don't want to reveal their destinations ahead of time, we are saving last spring's data until the same date this year.) Also, if the batteries in the transmitters of Nye's eagles N98 and N99 last through this spring's migration, you may also compare these birds' spring migrations over 2 years.
Spring Migration vs. Fall Migrations
Do eagles take the same routes in the spring and fall? (Fall migration data won't be provided until after the eagles reach their nests this spring. Again, we don't want to spoil the surprise!)
Migration Behavior of Adults vs. Juveniles
At the conclusion of your study, write a scientific paper. See Lesson:
Meet This Year's Eagle Biologists:
Introduction From Our EASTERN Bald Eagle Scientist
"We successfully captured and radio-tagged our first eagle on December 16, #F42 She's a big, beautiful
adult female and was captured along the lower Hudson River near West Point. (See if you can find it.) In addition
to her leg bands and radio transmitters, we collected a small blood sample to test for contaminants. (See more
about these contaminants below.) F42 has been staying very local within the Lower Hudson River area, confirming
for us some previously known night-roosting sites. She is being tracked nearly daily by our technicians from the
Today's Satellite Migration Data from EASTERN EAGLES
* Important Note
Challenge Question #1
Migration data from Peter Nye's three eagles is provided above. Review the data and see if you can answer this question:
(To respond to this Challenge Question, please follow the instructions
Introduction From Our WESTERN Bald Eagle Scientist
Jim Watson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
We welcome Jim Watson to Journey North this season! Based in Washington State, he will be sending data from 4 eagles who are presently over-wintering there. Because 2 of these 4 birds were captured last spring, you will be able compare migration data of the same birds over 2 years. The batteries of these transmitters will last through the winter of 1999. (Due to space considerations, however, we will provide the Spring, 1997 data on the WWW only.)
"I am conducting a wintering study of bald eagles on Washington's Skagit River. This river, and its tributaries, support up to 500 eagles that feed on chum salmon from November through February. These salmon spawn on the upper river and their carcasses wash onto gravel bars where the eagles congregate to feed.
"During the same time, recreationists congregate on the river to fish for steelhead (a large rainbow trout) and watch the eagles. Because of potential concerns for disturbance of the eagles from these activities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and Department are funding a study to determine where these eagles come from, how long they survive, and if their nesting populations are healthy.
"The research began in 1996, and will continue for at least 3 more years. To determine where the eagles come from, we are using satellite telemetry that allows me to retrieve the locations of the eagles right from my computer--within an hour or two of sending a signal, I can tell where the eagles are several hundred kilometers away! There are also small VHF transmitters on the eagles that allow us to follow them on the river or locate them if they should die.
"As always, my wife and sons, 12-year old Cory, and 10-year old Jesse, often assist me on the study (see photo). Its hard to believe that these "fledgling scientists" are at the age when I was 25 years ago when I became interested in raptors--perhaps someday they will be 'fully-fledged' raptor scientists!
"Trapping has been considerably more difficult this year (milder weather; and because the birds are somewhat stationary we are working with the same birds so they get trap shy pretty fast). I had anticipated that trapping would get more difficult in January when fewer carcasses and fewer birds are on the river. But we've met with outstanding trapping success during January. We have a total of 34 birds for the study, of these 17 are with transmitters."
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Today's Satellite Migration Data from WESTERN EAGLES
Challenge Question #2
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
How to Respond to Journey North Bald Eagle Challenge Question # 1
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 1
3. In the body of the message, give your answer to this question:
How to Respond to Journey North Bald Eagle Challenge Question # 2