Bald Eagle Migration Update: March 17, 2004
Today's Report Includes:
WOW What a Week!
It was a really exciting week for eagles! Not only did we learn of Pete and Kathy’s successful trapping of a beautiful female Bald eagle (V98), but also, the migration is on. One of the eagles has high-tailed it out of NY and is now soaring the Canadian skies. Don’t look yet - can you guess which one?
Field Notes from Peter Nye
story of our new eagle, V98.
…Then, a little after eight-o'clock, I spotted a large adult gliding toward our trap site from up-river, on a direct line toward the carcass. This bird came out of no where, and perched in a tree right about the carcass for about 5 minutes, watching the squabbling immatures on the carcass, until it finally decided it wanted in on the action…
In other news, as you will also see from the latest data, our golden eagle A00 has begun his northward move, about a week earlier than last year. He is already well into Canada. Unfortunately, Scott and Kathy were not successful in capturing A00's mate, but as Scott says, there is always next year!
On Wings of an Eagle
How far did she fly? She was released March 9th at 10:15 Eastern Standard Time (EST), and her most recent signal was recorded March 12th at 17:33 EST. Can you calculate how many hours and minutes these readings are apart? During this time she traveled 192 miles (309 kilometers).
Interpreting Satellite Data
What Happens When Nobody's Looking?
By now, you're probably comfortable using satellite data to track migration.
But don't get too comfortable! Let's step back for a minute. Think about the information the satellite sends us every two days, and the assumptions we might be making when we interpret the data.
Think about that image when you interpret satellite data. The satellite only sends a snapshot representing a moment in time. Consider what might be happening when we're not looking!
What Time is it, Satellite Time?
In Challenge Question #13 we gave you the data recorded in local time (EST). However, the satellite data time is given to scientists according to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). GMT is an international time-keeping standard. It is based on the local time in Greenwich, England. Greenwich Mean Time is also called Universal Time (UT).
Read on for a description of GMT and challenge yourself to learn more about our use of world clocks.
Open your atlas to the time-zone map and consider these questions:
Nesting in MA
Nesting under a live camera in MA, the eagle capturing the attention of thousands of viewers has laid her 2nd egg! Earlier this month the eagle was caught on camera sitting in her nest for every picture. We asked our expert, Pete Nye if she could be sitting on eggs already. His reply, “Absolutely! Many of our birds are down on eggs already. Realize, they sit on them for over a month, then young are in the nest for 3 more months....it’s a long nesting season!”
Looking at these pictures, what can you say about eagle nesting behavior?
Winter Dining: Discussing Challenge Question #11
An eagle eats 5-10% of its body weight each day. Male bald eagles weigh 8-9 lbs., and females weigh 10-14 lbs. Challenge Question #11 asked,
“How many pounds of food does an eagle need to consume each day? If you needed the same percentage of food daily, how many pounds would you need?”
Tom, Heather, Matt, Kristina and Caitlin – all 7th graders from Iselin Middle School showed us their work to solve the question:
5th Graders in Park Rapids, MN and Ferrisburgh, VT weighing in at 70 and 90 lbs (and consuming 10% of their bodyweight) would need to eat 7 and 9 lbs of food each day. Now that’s a lot of “quarter-pounders!”
Adaptations: The Tail - Discussion of CQ #12
“In what ways does the eagle’s tail help sustain their fishing and scavenging lifestyle?”
Jonathan has done his research! He wrote to us,
Other great adaptations included balance while flying, an aid for slowing down when landing and a signal to others that when the tail is white that the bird is mature.
Bald Eagle Adaptations: The Body
Are you ready for this week's adaptation?
Most bird bodies don't tell much about the bird's life until you look carefully at the wings, tail, and legs. For this week’s question think carefully about what is inside the eagle as well as what we see on the outside.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:
an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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