Migration Update: February 25, 2009
Welcome to the 2009 Journey North Bald Eagle Study!

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Maps and Data

Just a short report this week to give you the latest data for our eagles. The eagles continue to hold steady with the exception of U25. Will this be a typical year when the birds start heading North in March?

Satellite technology offers us a valuable look into habitats the birds use so we can learn how best to protect them. Can you identify a common feature at each eagle location?

Questions about this week's map >>
Explore: Interpreting Satellite Data

Try This!
Close your eyes. Imagine being in your classroom, day and night, with your eyes closed. Every 2 days, blink your eyes open for a few seconds. You ONLY have that time to see what is happening. The rest of the time, you see nothing but darkness. As a class, consider the conclusions you might draw about what is happening in the classroom, based on your limited observations.

U25: What Happens When Nobody's Looking?
Think about the information the satellite sends us every two days, and the assumptions we might be making when we interpret the data.
The satellite only sends a snapshot representing a moment in time.

U25 decided to move from a location along the Delaware River on 02/17/09. Where has she flown to? Will she stay in her new location, or move again. Where might she be headed? Consider what might be happening when we're not looking!

What Time is it, Satellite Time?
Local time is meaningless to a satellite. Remember, the satellite is zooming around the earth every 101 minutes, so local times on Earth are a blur. Satellite data time is given to scientists according to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). GMT is an international time-keeping standard. It is based on the local time in Greenwich, England. Greenwich Mean Time is also called Universal Time (UT).

Find out more about GMT and challenge yourself to learn more about our use of world clocks.
  • What Time is it, Satellite Time? >>

Open your atlas to the time-zone map and consider these questions:

1. Locate Greenwich, England. How many time zones away from Greenwich, England are you?

2. Eagle data is given in GMT. What time is it GMT when it is 10:15 EST? What time is it EST when it is 2:43 GMT?
(Answers: 3:15 PM, 9:43 AM)

Why do we give the time for each map satellite location?
The timestamp on each sighting report tells the scientists whether the bird is in a roosting location (night time), or out looking for food (day time). By their actions, the birds help biologists locate the critical habitats eagles use.
Links: This Week's Eagle Resources
  • Banding: Exploring Tools for Research >>
  • Digging Deeper : How to Map Satellite Telemetry Data >>
  • Learn: What Time is It - Satellite Time? >>
  • Lessons, Activities, and Resources >>
  • Digging Deeper : Latitude Longitude and Distance Traveled >>
  • Journey North for Kids: Eagles >>
Journal cover
Eagle Journal >>
More Eagle Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 4, 2009.