About the Bald Eagle Migration Study
(Back to Bald
Eagle Home Page)
For the seventh season in a row, New York biologist Peter Nye will share satellite telemetry data with students
as he tracks bald eagles back to their nests in Canada. Students will participate in an on-line guessing contest
and predict the location of each eagle's nest. To guide their guess they'll analyze satellite data collected during
the springs of 1994-1999.
Data on these birds will provide students with a great opportunity to compare and contrast the migrations of
individual eagles. Students can research the eagle's diet, Canada's climate, review previous year's data--and then
estimate when the eagles will head back north. They can also explore how weather systems affect each eagle's journey,
through real-time weather data.
Nye believes the timing of an eagle's departure from New York is a clue to its ultimate destination. The further
north the eagle's nest, he theorizes, the later it leaves New York. This suggests the eagle has an incredible sense
of timing. Which eagles do you suppose will migrate first?
Recently removed from the endangered species list, the eagle's recovery is a conservation success story. Students
will learn about DDT in the food chain and analyze eagle population statistics during the years of its recovery.
New research, however, suggests other chemicals in the environment may now be threatening eagles. Nye's work in
New York is presently measuring levels of such chemicals. Thus, while conservation challenges continue to confront
eagles, past lessons have made scientists and citizens more watchful.
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