Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle Migration Update: April 30, 2003

Today's Report Includes:

Field Notes from Peter Nye

Hey all,
I'm back from a great trip to the southwest. What gorgeous country. We wondered at the ancient petroglyphs and Indian cliff-dwellings. Also marveled at the peregrines, golden eagles, condors (many!) and bighorn sheep we were lucky to see.

Ah, but if only all the work took a vacation also! I’m playing catch-up now, so here’s the latest migration data:

Link to Latest Data:

and a quick update:

  • E50 departed around 4/13, and continues his north-eastward move...
  • Think A00 is home? I watch for clustered readings as an indication of nest location.

I’ll be out in the field most of the next two months. First helicopter surveys then nest visits.

Eagleye Nye

Eagles Now Nesting Across the Continent


Eagleye Nye will be up a tree most days in May and June. He will visit every eagle nest in the state of New York to band the babies. For our final three updates this season, we’ll focus on the bald eagle nesting cycle. In eagle nests across North America the same process is underway. Even though the timing is different in different climates, the steps take place in the same order. Here’s an overview:
Visit an Eagle Nest With Peter Nye


“The view from a eagles nest is one of the most spectacular on earth,” says Pete. “They certainly know how to pick the prime lookout spots. The nests themselves, once eaglets are born and a few weeks old, are completely flat across the top, contrary to what you might think of as a 'bowl nest.' They contain soft vegetation, and often fresh greenery such as white pine sprigs or some other leaves; cattails and cornstalks are also a big item here in New York!” For more background information about eagle nests and activities see:
Eagles Online: The Eaglet Has Hatched!
On Thursday, April 17 the eaglet hatched in its online nest and is now almost two weeks old. Let’s watch how it changes during the next two weeks.
April 28, 2003
Eagles Online
eaglecam042803_1235 eaglecam042803_1335 eaglecam042803_1405
12:35 pm
1:35 pm 2:05 pm

What Do You See? What Does the Ornithologist See?
The three pictures above were taken this week. Record everything you notice in each picture, and similarities and differences between the pictures.
Activity Budgets:
A Technique for Studying Animal Behavior

How do animals spend their time? Have you ever wondered how scientists find out? "Ethology" is the study of animal behavior. One way to quantify behavior is by watching an animal over an extended period and making an “activity budget.” Basically, an activity budget shows how much time an animal spends in various activities such as eating, resting, sleeping, moving, etc.
Try This! An Activity Budget for the Online Eagle Nest
Eagles Online archives photos every 5 minutes and saves them for a full hour. Use this resource to make an activity budget for a nesting eagle and eaglet. What behaviors can you observe in the eagle nest? How much time does an eagle spend at each? (What is impossible to observe, and how would this affect your results?)
April 29, 2003
Eagles Online
eaglecam042903_0910 eaglecam042903_0915 eaglecam042903_0925
9:10 am 9:15 am 9:25 am
eaglecam042903_0930 eaglecam042903_0935 eaglecam042903_0940
9:30 am 9:35 am 9:40 am
eaglecam042903_0945 eaglecam042903_0950 eaglecam042903_1000
9:45 am 9:50 am 9:55 am

Real Scientific Studies Using “Activity Budgets”
Do a Web search for the phrase “activity budget.” You can read actual scientific papers (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussions). Here are examples:

The macaques spent nearly 70% of the day traveling and foraging, with the remainder of the time spent resting (20%) and socializing (12%). The most commonly eaten foods were kapok (32%) and forest fruits (11%), with crop raiding providing a substantial part of the diet (10%).

Bottle-nosed Dolphins
Twelve months of cliff-based behaviour sampling accumulated 213 hours of direct observation on 73 dolphin schools. The overall proportion of time spent in each of the five behaviour states was: travel (63%), feed (19%), social (12%), play (3%) and rest (3%), and 90% of all dolphin activity occurred within 0.25 km of shore.”

Common Loons
Altered time-activity budgets may disrupt the energetic balance of young. As mercury levels in their blood rise, the amount of time that chicks spend brooding (by back-riding) decreases and time spent preening increases.

White Whales
A study of summer and autumn movements of white whales in Norway showed the whales spent most of their time relatively stationary, close to different glacier fronts in the area.

These studies are important in a host of ways. For example, scientists must understand normal animal behavior in order to recognize abnormal behavior when they see it. These studies are also helpful for conservation management. Can you see why?

My Activity Budget
How much time do you spend working, playing, resting, sleeping, eating, learning, obtaining food, etc.? List the behaviors that make up your day, then measure how much time you spend at each. What patterns do you see? How does your activity budget reflect what's important in your life? Make a pie chart to illustrate your results.

Challenge Question #19:
"What percent of your time do you spend sleeping? What takes place during sleep that is so important?"

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

Journey North
Year End Evaluation
Please share your thoughts

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question:

1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #19
3. In the body of your message, answer the question above.

The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 9, 2003


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