Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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Eastern Bald Eagle Migration Update: March 10, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Winter Range as of 3/8/99

Satellite Data for Eastern Eagles

Field Notes From Biologist Peter Nye

Dear Students,
Things are getting interesting! I don't know what Eagle #F81 is up to. He
left New York earlier than most eagles leave (27 February), and on 3 March was in northern New Hampshire. Ordinarily, the EARLIER an eagle leaves our wintering grounds, the CLOSER I believe its summering area is. This is because summer areas nearby likely "open up" earlier, so the eagle can leave our wintering sites earlier. He may also want to get up there to "beat any competition" to the nest site. Therefore, I feel #F81 may only be going up into Maine or New Brunswick this summer. We'll see!

It will be interesting to keep our eyes on Eagles #F43 and #F44, since we know exactly when they left last winter--and we know where they are going. What do you think they'll do this year?

Challenge Question # 7
"What dates do you predict Eagles #F43 and #F44 will leave their wintering area? The same dates as last year--regardless of the weather conditions here and up north? Or, might it depend upon the weather we get between now and then? Bonus question: What triggers some birds to migrate anyway?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Eagles Apparently Changed Their Minds--Why?
Challenge Question # 8
As you'll see when you map today's satellite data, on 7 March Eagle #F43 moved back onto the Hudson from her wanderings of early March up near MA and over in CT. At about the same time (8 March), Eagle #F81 moved back south from his previous locations up in northern NH--all the way to a location near where he was wintering. This guy is back now on the NY/VT border! A couple of interesting movements there.

Challenge Question # 8
"Why do you think Eagle #F81 suddenly 'retreated' back to his wintering grounds? How many miles did he travel? Why do you think Eagle #F43 move back south at about the same time?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

We are still trapping, but our options are fading fast with the winter. We
may get lucky in mid-March as birds move through some of our wintering areas on their way north, or feed up just prior to their departure. Trappers are out this week and next. More later!

Eagle Eye Nye

Peter E. Nye
New York State Dept. Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
Delmar, NY

Discussion of Challenge Question #6
Last week we asked, "As the crow flies, what's the total distance between all the places where the satellite received readings from Eagle #F83? Explain why the EAGLE actually may have flown further."

Jayson & Jay of Scott Young Public School got it : "Eagle #83 has traveled 140.08 miles and 224.2 km in total. He could have flown farther because his collar was only activated four times in seven days."

So true! Satellite data gives us only a snapshot of eagle behavior. This
is something biologists must always keep in mind when analyzing their data, being careful not to make assumptions.

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:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #7
(or Challenge Question #8)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will be Posted on March 24, 1999.

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