Migration Update: April 28, 2004
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
Notes from Peter Nye
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.
Wildlife Diversity Group
Endangered Species Unit
Puttin’ on the Miles
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.
on closeup to view full size.
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!
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?
Click to enlarge -
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?
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?
“How would you summarize the changes you see in the eagle chicks
since they were hatched? Write a short paragraph.”
respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)
Online to observe the eagle family as they raise their chicks.
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.
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?
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.
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
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The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 5, 2004.
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