Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eagle Update!

Although 4N's tag is out of commission, we still have four birds to follow! We're always excited to see where these eagles are moving, and we hope you are, too.

First up, the females! Both females, 3E, the adult, and 4P, the immature eagle, have been sticking around the Chilkat Valley.

3E has made a couple trips to the ridgeline south of the Chilkat, but is otherwise hanging out around the area between 19- and 21-mile on the Haines Highway-- pretty much the only region of the Chilkat River that is unfrozen this time of year:


Unsurprisingly, 4P has been doing more or less the same thing:


As for the males? 2Z, the immature male, is still headed south, and at least for now has left the United States. He's hanging out in British Columbia, Canada, near Prince Rupert.

  

3C, the adult male, also took off and headed southward. He spent some time on Admiralty Island and Mitkof Island, and is currently on Revillagigedo Island, southeast of Ketchikan, AK.


Every time we receive new GPS points from the eagle's tags, we learn something about their movements. We can use satellite images to guess at what the eagles might be feeding on when they stop. Is it an anthropogenic food source, like a landfill? Is it a river that sees a fall salmon run of coho or chum? Might they be feeding on a carcass or some sort, like a marine mammal, or a moose or deer? We also get to see how quickly they travel from place to place. We're curious to see how far south the males will travel before stopping to overwinter, and we're also interested in seeing if and when the two females might take off and leave the Chilkat behind.

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2 Comments:

At January 3, 2013 at 8:25 PM , Anonymous Subutai said...

Hi Rachel - just curious how far away can you track the tags? Keep up the great work?

 
At January 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Subutai,

The tags collect GPS locations of the eagles and then transmit that information to us via a satellite system. This means the birds can travel thousands of miles away and we'll still know where they are. Pretty neat, huh?

 

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