EASTERN Bald Eagle Migration Update: May 4, 1998
Today's Report Includes:
"Eagle #F44 stopped a bit sooner than I expected, so she didn't reach the latitudes I thought she might. But still, for the east, it is the farthest north one has been tracked so far. (As far as eagles all over North America, 55 degrees is certainly not the highest; I believe they get to 65 degrees and better in Alaska.)"
How Many Eagles are Migrating in the East?
Last week, Jim Watson reminded us that satellite tracking gives biologists a sample. The migrations of individual birds actually represent the movements of a whole population. We asked Peter Nye how many eagles might be migrating from the East to nest in the north, according to the same pattern as his 3 eagles.
"Obviously it's tough to say with certainty, but my educated guess would be 1,000-2,000 birds, perhaps closer to the low end. And yes, we have far fewer eagles here in the East than there are in the Midwest and West. (Meaning the East Coast area, east of the Mississippi River.) That's one reason it is so hard to capture 'target' birds, when you are beginning with a very small potential pool.
"One little known fact I'll inject here, however, is that the East holds the record for the largest number of bald eagle nests in one of the 48 contiguous states. Can you guess? Actually it is the state of Florida, which at last count had well over 600 nesting pairs! In aggregate though,total numbers of nesting balds in eastern states, as with winter birds, can't match the Midwest (Great Lakes region) and the Pacific Northwest.
"This is due to a variety of factors: habitat protection, ban on DDT, human enlightenment (and this is giving us much credit!), and active restoration programs We must remain ever vigilant, however. Despite these strides, the key to the eagles future with us is for us to secure (protect) sufficient suitable habitat (including all necessary components of that habitat) for eagles, so that we can sustain the same numbers we have now in 100 years; a tough challenge!
The FINAL Bald Eagle Migration Update will Be Posted on May 15, 1998.
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