Bald Eagle Migration Update: February 4, 2004
Today's Report Includes:
Welcome Back to Bald Eagle Biologist Peter Nye
We’re proud to welcome the return of "Eagle Eye" Nye who's back for the 10th season! Nye is one of the top eagle biologists in North America, and we're grateful for the chance to look over his shoulder each year as he conducts his important work.
Take a minute to meet Eagle Eye Nye and to learn about his research:
Field Notes from Peter Nye
Hello Journey North Eagle Trackers!
Welcome to another year following some of our eagle work here in New York State. 2003 was a very busy year for us. Those of you with us last season will recall our exciting efforts to capture one of two golden eagles wintering here in eastern NY, efforts that finally paid off with the capture of tagging of an adult male golden, A00 on 11 March 2003.
A00 migrated to, summered in, and presumably nested in northern Quebec, just west of the Labrador border. You can go back into the archives and follow his track, and calculate the distance from his winter-home to his summer home. We believe this bird was one of a mated pair, and this winter Scott VanArsdale of our staff and I have targeted his mate, the adult female, for capture and radio-tagging. Virtually nothing is known about migratory behavior and movements of mated pairs of eagles, either balds or goldens, and this is one of the areas of interest to us. Questions like:
We have had few opportunities to capture both birds of a mated pair, so this should be exciting and a significant challenge, trying to capture one particular bird. I sure you can expect to hear more from Scott on that endeavor as he gets going with it, likely next week.
on the Delaware River
So, there you have it. A quick sketch of what we will be up to this winter. I'll send along more info as the weeks pass, and look forward to your participation.
Thanks for your interest!
High, High Tech: The Science of Satellite Tracking
In order to track an eagle by satellite, a transmitter must be fitted on the eagle's back. The transmitter fits like the backpack you might wear to school. EagleEye Nye programs the transmitters to emit signals once every 2 days. The straps of these lightweight backpacks are hand sewn onto each eagle with a thread that will decompose in about 2 years- the approximate lifetime of a transmitter battery.
orbiting high above Earth’s atmosphere becomes a tool in the complex
transfer of data across the miles of space to show us where we can find
Now sharpen your pencils and calculate this:
Fall Migration Map: A Magic Eye of Surprises
Maps hold hidden surprises. Like those graphic puzzles called “Magic Eyes,” the longer you look at them the more chance you will see the surprises they contain.
Let’s begin the spring season with a simple map showing the fall migration of some of our satellite tagged eagles.
Study the map for its hidden meanings. Look carefully- what statements can you make from looking at the map? How would you can accurately answer these questions:
Teacher Tip: Student Portfolio Organizers for Assessment
A new Journey North season brings lots of excitement. Students gather information, send in field observations, study maps, calculate migration distances and spend time researching topics of special interest. All of these activities promote rich learning experiences. The challenge is how to organize this vast amount information for project assessment. A creative project portfolio is one answer!
Teacher Tip: Are YOU Ready for the Migration?
Our satellite-tracked eagles typically begin to migrate in March. Depending on the age of your students, the skills you want to teach (and your own comfort level with satellite data!), you may want use the migration data in various different ways. Here are some tips and background lessons to help you get ready:
Your Own Migration Map, Or Print and Analyze Ours
This lesson will help you get comfortable with satellite data, so you'll have a feeling for the distances involved when an eagle's latitude and longitude readings change.
This lesson includes charts with step-by-step instructions for pinpointing an eagle's latitude and longitude on a map. By putting a transparency on top of your map, an eagle's exact location can be more easily found.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:
an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1997-2004 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.