Western Bald Eagle Migration Update: April 7, 1999
Field Notes from Biologist Jim Watson
Eagle #18 Heads for Home
As you ride in a vehicle down the highway, think about how fast Eagle #18 migrated compared to how fast you are going. Remember, when you walk, you typically move 1-2 miles per hour, and maybe 4-5 miles per hour when running.
Discussion of Challenge Question #11
Challenge Question #11 asked about the migration route Eagle #18 used as he began his migration. You can see the Columbia River was the "flight corridor" he used to move from the previous location. Rather than flying over barren land, he flew along a "logical" landscape--water. Why? For food and orientation (see discussion below). Where might you expect him to fly in the upcoming weeks based on this early movement? Answer: to the headwaters of the Columbia River. (We can't tell for certain, because the data only provides readings every few days, but it appears he may have traveled along the Columbia between March 20 and March 24.)
Plans Still a Secret for Eagle #12
Eagle #12 still hasn't shown the same type of movement at this point. Last week I asked Challenge Question #12, "Do you think Eagle #12 could be nesting in Washington? Why or Why not?"
I believe that this is unlikely, because eagles nesting in Washington are already on eggs. If Eagle #12 were nesting, satellite data would show her stationary at a location on a nesting territory. (See today's data to see how much she's moving.)
Challenge Question #18: Guess the Nest
Jim Watson has placed his guess--what about you? There's still time to guess where you think our WESTERN eagles' nests are located. Be sure to give the exact latitude and longitude for each eagle's nest.
For help, take a look at Eagle #12's migration data from last year, and read today's interview with Jim below.
Migration Routes to the North
Interview Biologist With Jim Watson
We interviewed Jim Watson about the routes taken by the eagles he's studied over the years. Here's what he had to say:
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
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