Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where are they now? (cont.)

The male eagles we tagged, 3C and 2Z, have been busy! Unlike the females, the males have been traveling around a bit more. We suspect this is because males, who are significantly smaller than the females, aren't able to compete as well for food.

3C, the adult male, is still in the Chilkat Valley, although he's been wandering away from the river itself:

After his capture, 3C spent some time on the Chilkat and Tsirku River flats, but then moved up the ridge south of the Chilkat River to Chilkat Lake. He spent some time on Birch Island at Chilkat Lake, and then traveled to the eastern end of the lake. Since then, he's been hanging out on the ridge line, with an occasional trip down to the Chilkat.

Of the five birds we captured and tagged, 2Z has by far moved the farthest. Not long after his capture, 2Z took off, left the Chilkat Behind, and headed south!

Here you can see a good portion of the inside passage of Southeast Alaska. The top-most points on the map are those near Haines, collected when 2Z was still in the Chilkat Valley. Now? 2Z has traveled more than 200 miles southward. He stopped briefly in Angoon, on Admiralty Island, before making his way to Kupreanof Island, west of Petersburg!

Here are his most recent movements, at mouth of the Castle River near Duncan Canal. We can only make guesses about what 2Z is feeding on, but Taal and I both suspect there are coho salmon spawning here.

We can't wait to see where these birds head next!

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