Today's Update Includes:
Field Notes from Biologist Jim Watson
To: Journey North
From: Jim Watson
The salmon that wintering eagles feed on along the major rivers finished spawning 3 or 4 weeks ago. Now all
that is left from their remains is a scrap of a backbone, a piece of skin, or maybe, a whole carcass that was caught
on a log under the water but finally washed up to the river bar. If you happen to be the lucky eagle in the right
place at the right time, you might find such a carcass...but you can't be too picky about how it smells or tastes,
since it's not very fresh. Other eagles have moved downriver into Puget Sound (locate Puget Sound on a map) where
waterfowl are found, or to the fields along the Sound to feed on cattle carrion at large dairy farms where cows
are birthing in the spring.
Spring Fever in the West? Challenge Question # 4
"What two factors does Jim Watson describe that may contribute to an eagle beginning to move around the wintering area, after remaining in the same general location for much of the winter?"
(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)
Wandering Around Washington?
Discussion of Challenge Question #3
Last week we asked, "Which eagle seems to be wandering around Washington? If you plot this eagle's movements since January 21 or 22, how many miles has it traveled? Students in what town might have seen it, if they looked overhead on Sunday, February 7?"
Wow, that was a VERY hard question-and these 5th grade students in Omemee, Ontario got it right! (We promise mapping will be much easier when the eagles begin to migrate.)
"We answered your question in three parts--The eagles that are wandering around Washington State are eagles #12 & 18. We used a lot of maps to get this answer and plotted the eagles' data on our map. Eagle # 18 travelled 50.283 km. south and 229.5 km. east. We found this answer by subtracting the two latitude lines, we then multiplied the answer by 111 because every degree of latitude equals 111 km. We were not able to find the town above the coordinates because we could not find a map detailed enough."
Tyler & Kyle, Scott Young Public School
44.33 N, -78.5 W
If they'd had a better map, we know they'd have said that the name of the nearest town was "Inchelium", WA. (Click on face of map to enlarge.)
They're so smart, we'll see if we can catch them on this one...
Distance as the Crow Flies--and the Eagle?
Today's Winter Range Map shows exactly where Eagle #18 has been wandering. The chart below shows the distance between each place the satellite captured a reading:
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
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