Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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Eastern Bald Eagle Migration Update: April 7, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Field Notes from Biologist Peter Nye

Hi kids,

Eastern Bald Eagle Migration
As of 4/4/99

Sure is interesting following all these birds to see where they'll end up. Here's the latest satellite data:

Even the Expert Has to Guess
Have you made your guesses where they'll go? Here are mine (but don't look if you haven't made your own guesses FIRST!):

Eagle #F43
I believe F43 will go right back to the nest site she used in 1998,on Lake Oromocto, New Brunswick at about 45.607 N, 66.952 W. She is very close to this now already! She did not successfully nest last year, but we hope she does this year. I may try to visit her nest site and band any young she produces this year; perhaps even put a satellite radio transmitter on one of her eaglets, to see if they go to the same wintering area.

Eagle #F44
I think this female will also go to the same site she migrated to last year, in northern Quebec. I'm expecting her to go to 54.628N, -70.147W--when she does finally leave, which I suspect will be any day! In fact, look at today's data and see what you think:

Did Eagle #F44 Finally Fly?

Challenge Question #19
"Do you think Eagle #F44 left yesterday? How far apart are her readings for 4 April and 6 April? (Give your answer in miles and kilometers.)"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Eagle #F81
This is a bit harder, since we've never tracked this adult male eagle before. But, based upon his early departure date and latest movement behavior, I'm going to guess that he is going up into Labrador at about 52.600N, -65.900W. Which brings up a related question:

Ladies First?

Challenge Question #20
"Do you think males or females arrive back at their nest site first; why? Or, do you think they migrate together?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Eagle #F82
Another adult female, who started moving on 16 March after staying quite tight to her wintering area along the St. Lawrence River on New York's northern border. I believe she is going only a short way north into Quebec Province, 47.100N, -76.500W.

Eagle #F83
This is the toughest of all for me to predict, partly because this adult male made some significant early movements north, only to retreat again south when the weather turned foul. I'm going to go way out on a limb and predict this eagle is going to stay in our Adirondack Mountains, around 44.150N, -74.700W.

Good luck with your guesses; hope you are enjoying the ride !!
--Pete Nye--

Peter E. Nye
New York State Dept. Environmental Conservation

Discussion of Challenge Question #13
After Eagle #F43 took off we asked, "How does Eagle #F43's departure date this year compare to her 1998 date? Why do you think it's different--or the same?"

"Dear Journey North," responded Mrs. Sgalipi's 4th Eagle Group in Horsham, PA. "This year eagle F #43 left later than last year. We think she left later because of the snow storm that hit the east coast in early March." (

Good analysis! Just as the at Eagle Group pointed out, Eagle #F43 did leave earlier last year. In 1998 the data show she had departure by 7 March. This year, as the map, data--and PA students--say, she had headed north on 5 March, but turned back due to the snowstorm! She didn't venture north again until 17 March.

Meteorologist's Eagle-Eye View of Migration
Glen Schuster, of the U.S. Satellite Laboratory, stepped in with this blow-by-blow weather report for Eagle #F43's trip north. Let's see what his expert eyes see:

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
Please answer ONLY ONE question in EACH e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #19
(or Challenge Question #20)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Bald Eagle Migration Update Will be Posted on April 21, 1999.

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