Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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FINAL Bald Eagle Migration Update: May 12, 2004

Today's Report Includes:

Special Thanks to Our Bald Eagle Biologist!
As the migration season draws to a close, we'd like to turn your attention behind the scenes. Over the past 4 months, in addition to his busy job, Peter Nye found extra time to share his research and knowledge with us all. Journey North would not be possible without the dedication of scientists like Peter Nye who contribute their expertise voluntarily.
Thank you, Peter!

Latest News and Migration Map
While the satellite transmitters allow us to “see” WHERE the eagles are we still scratch our heads wondering just WHAT they are doing.
Take a close look at Golden eagle A00 this week!

Link to Latest Data:

Field Notes from Peter Nye

Hi Kids!
It looks like female V/98 is sticking very close to or probably in her nest.
A20 is still bouncing around just a bit as the data shows. And it is kind of a surprise to see what A00 is doing. This male Golden eagle seems to have taken a north-west jump over the last few days. I wonder if he comes back to his "normal" area soon.

Have a great summer, and thanks for sharing this spring migration with me.


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

Satellite Eagles on Map Server
We’re happy to offer you all the Spring 2004 locations for our satellite-tracked eagles in one interactive map. All spring eagle backpack transmitters beamed up signals to orbiting satellites allowing us to capture their latest locations. Now you can “click” on any data point and find the exact date and time of day (remember Universal time?) each signal was sent!

Take a minute to explore the new map. Go to the Journey North MapServer and scroll down to “Eagle (Satellite-tracked)”.

Look at the big map of North America:

  • Which eagle has done the most flying this season?
  • What is different about this map from our usual eagle migration map?
  • Did you realize the size of the geographic area these birds have migrated?

Practice using the magnification tool and zoom in to any part of the map you want to study.

Eagles are Big Babies: Discussing CQ #26
A baby robin fledges when it's only 13 days old, and a hummingbird at 21 days. If an eagle fledges when its 10-12 weeks old, how many days is that, asked Challenge Question #26?

"It takes 70-84 days for a young eagle to fledge," calculated 7th Graders at Iselin Middle School.

Wow, what a difference! Why do you suppose young eagles take so long to grow up compared to hummingbirds and robins?

The 7th Graders thought this through like research scientists. "Compared to a hummingbird and robin, eagles’ wings are big and heavy and have many more feathers. It takes time for all the feathers to grow and the bones to get strong. They have trouble catching fish and flying when young. Hummingbirds and robins know how to find food by instinct and leave the nest quickly. The first year for an eagle is a learning process. Mother eagles teach their young to hunt."
Great job to the whole team; Armand, Slowomir, Danielle, Dominique, Neel, Bhumi, Catherine, Elain, Jennie, Gurjodh, Lauren, Michael H., Mike, Robert, Chris, Moaz, Tom, Heather, Kristina, and Matt!

Here are additional thoughts from Ornithologist Laura Erickson:

  • Robins and hummingbirds are much smaller, with a much shorter life-span, than eagles. Smaller birds start nesting when they are one or at most two years old, so many more of their behaviors must be ‘innate’-that is, instinctive. That means they don't have to spend as much time learning new things as eagles do.
  • Hummingbirds take nectar from flowers. Robins search for worms on the ground and berries in trees and shrubs. Their techniques for slurping up nectar, pulling out worms or plucking berries are fairly simple and straightforward. Hunting for live and wary creatures is much trickier--a trout can wiggle away a lot easier than a berry can! So hunting birds must be very adaptable and intelligent, and they need time to develop their skills.

What Did You Learn?
Peter Nye Summarizes His Research Findings

Last November, Peter Nye traveled to a scientific conference to give a presentation about his bald eagle migration studies. He shared his findings, based on his work tracking eagles by satellite since 1992. How many days does spring migration take? Who leaves earlier, males or females? How far do eagles travel? Read what he's learned:

Scientist Says
An example of a published Bald Eagle research paper
How Scientists Communicate Research Results
One of the most important steps in a scientist's work is sharing research results with other scientists. This is how the body of scientific knowledge is built--and how it constantly changes, as new research findings replace the old. As a way to synthesize your learning this spring, write your own scientific paper based on the Bald Eagle research you have witnessed. This lesson guides you through the steps:

Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to share your suggestions and comments in our Year-End Evaluation Form below.

In the coming year, Journey North will be fundraising to secure increased support from foundations, corporations and individuals. Your supportive comments will be a tremendous help. Thank you!

Journey North
Year End Evaluation

Please share your thoughts

This is the FINAL Bald Eagle Migration Update for 2004. We've had a lot of fun learning about eagles this spring! Thanks to everyone who participated in tracking these magnificent raptors with Eagleye and Journey North.

See you next spring!

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