Eastern Bald Eagle Migration Update: February 10, 1999
Today's Update Includes:
Field Notes from Biologist Peter Nye
First the most exciting news: We captured our first 2 eagles of the 1999 season on 1 February! In addition, two of last year's eagles have completed their round trip migration and are now back in New York. So, we already have 4 eagles "on-line" for you to help us follow.
Today's Satellite Data from EASTERN Eagles
Our first eagle, F81, was captured by our trapping team of Craig Thompson and Darcy Misurelli along the Upper
Hudson River only about 20 miles north of Albany, NY. This adult male was captured along the shoreline using a
bownet and fish set. He's equipped with a state of the art satellite radio-transmitter which should be transmitting
for about three years total. In 1992, the original satellite radio transmitters we used lasted just about one year
only. Now, they last up to three years, giving us the ability to track eagles along their migrations to and from
our wintering areas for three complete seasons. This is way cool stuff! Now, we can see if these eagles follow
the same routes each year, and if they leave and arrive at their destinations at the same time each year. Stay
tuned with us as we follow him!
Weather Challenge: For High Flying Students (Advanced)
Why do you think our first 2 eagles were suddenly captured on the same day, 1 February? (Trapping teams began work this year the week of 11 January.) Check out the weather systems in and near NY on 1 and 2 Feb to see if you can come up with a reason why eagles might have been "feeding up" on 1 February. I have some opinions on this from years of trapping.
We have been involved in research and monitoring of our wintering eagles for the past 20 years in order to help us understand:
In addition, in our Hudson River study area we are trying to define essential habitat areas and chemical contaminant
loads (in both prey and in eagles using this area). All in an attempt to give us as much information as possible
to properly manage these birds and to ensure that we keep them a viable part of our wildlife heritage here in New
Comparing Migration Year to Year, Season to Season
The fall, 1998 satellite data for these birds is provided below. Try to figure out when they began their fall
migration, what routes they took, how many days they spent migrating, the major areas they may have stopped in,
and when they returned to NY. For extra credit, you could even go back deeper and see what the weather conditions
were like during this period and if they might have had any influence on the movement of these birds south.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
Please answer ONLY ONE question in EACH e-mail message.
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 1
(or Challenge Question #2)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.
The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will be Posted on February 24, 1999.
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