Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle Migration Update: April 28, 2004

Today's Report Includes:

Latest News and Migration Map
It looks like the eagles are making themselves at home in Laborador. Last week we asked who you thought had begun nest housekeeping/building. Can you answer this question today?

Field Notes from Peter Nye

Hello All,

I'm in the field all this week checking on the eagles. Although there is not really too much to report so far this week you may want to decide for yourself what the maps tell you about our eagles’ behavior.

It looks like V98 is staying pretty well put.
Golden A20 is shifting around a bit, with a mostly westerly move on 4/22. Remember that this is a young adult now, at best, so may be searching for a territory or mate. It will be interesting to see if this one settles down this summer (versus more widespread wandering as last year).
Golden A00 also appears to be staying in the same vicinity.

Off to do some helicopter-nest surveys in our Adirondacks!

See you next week.

Endangered Species Unit
Wildlife Diversity Group
Endangered Species Unit
Delmar, NY

Puttin’ on the Miles
Click on closeup to view full size.
The young male Bald eagle A20, who was captured by Eagleye and Kathy Michelle during the winter of 2002 must have “wanderlust.” Try using the scale of miles on the really big migration map and you will discover that he flew over 300 miles between 4/14 and 4/16. Actually eagles don’t find themselves flapping that long distance. Using the updrafts and thermals, eagles travel great distances with a combination of soaring and gliding.

Try This!
Make your own distance ruler from the scale of miles on today’s big migration map. Then measure the distance that A20 has flown from 4/14 when he traveled to the Atlantic coast to our most recent data point on 4/22. Calculate how many miles a day he flew. Isn't it amazing!

Eagles Online Chicks – How are they Changing?
The eagle chicks observed by the webcam are now 12 and 14 days old. How have they changed during this time?

Compare pictures:

- Click to enlarge -

Look closely at the pictures. Remember that the camera is stationary, and always the same distance from the nest. What do you see?

  • How are the chicks positioned?
  • Are they awake or asleep?
  • What is the parent bird doing in the picture?
  • How is their behavior affected by the parent bird’s presence?
  • Can you distinguish which bird is older in each picture? What are some of the clues that would show you this?
  • How have the chicks’ physical characteristics changed over the past 2 weeks?
  • How have the chicks’ behaviors changed over the past 2 weeks?

Challenge Question #25:
“How would you summarize the changes you see in the eagle chicks since they were hatched? Write a short paragraph.”

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

Stay tuned to Eagles Online to observe the eagle family as they raise their chicks.

No Latchkey Chicks Here
Scientists have studied the amount of time the parent eagles spend at the nest while they raise their young. They found that once the babies hatched, the female was present at the nest about 90% of the time. The male was present about 50% of the time. This adds up to more than 100% because sometimes BOTH parents are present at the nest. During the study, at least one of the parents was at the nest almost all the time.

Try This!
You can test the eagle scientists’ study yourself. Go to the Eagles Online Web site picture gallery.There are usually 48 nest images posted on the page at any one time. Count how many pictures you see where the adult is at the nest? Keep a record of your findings. Repeat this a few times each day for a week.
Now calculate what percent of the time at least one eagle was present at the nest each time you looked. And finally, find the average using all the records you have collected. Does your data support the study? Why, or why not?

Fascinating Facts about Nesting Phenology
In order to have Bald Eagles in the future, Bald Eagles living today have to reproduce. This involves a LOT of critical steps, and scientists are still trying to figure out a lot of the details.

The farther south the eagles live, the more their breeding time is spread out over a year. Eagles in the northern states and anywhere in Canada start the process in a much tighter time-frame, in early spring. Because of the huge variation in the timing of breeding in North America, it's impossible to make a phenology chart with the precise timing for every place. But the steps involved in nesting do happen in the same order.

Get a handle on the complicated, yet critical steps involved. Read this:

Chore Chart for Raising Eagles
Even though it's not written down anywhere, male and female eagles know exactly what their duties are when it comes to raising young. Read about the phenology of eagle nesting. Learn what duties are involved, and which parent is responsible for each duty. Then, print a copy of the Chore Chart and record each duty listed in the proper column of the chart for raising eagles.

Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts!
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How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:

IMPORTANT: Answer only ONE question in each e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 25.
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 5, 2004.

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