Where is D27?
D27 rang in the New Year about four miles from her natal nest! A mild winter tends to result in more abundant food during the lean season: rivers are open for fishing, animals tend to forage in the (relatively) warm weather, and the folded hills and valleys in and around Decorah provide seemingly endless choices for perching and roosting. Happy 2020, D27 – and don’t forget to write!
I’ve included a few images of maps from the eagles we’ve tracked on their winter territories. So far, D1 and D27 (the eagles we have the most data on) have shown strong fidelity to their summer and winter ranges, although D1 wandered a little more, winter or summer, than any other eagle we’ve tracked. Food availability is a very important driver of eagle behavior – non-territorial eagles tend to move when the food source dries up – but it isn’t the only driver. Eagles are individuals! Some are homebodies and others like to move.
If you’d like to explore the travels of any of the eagles we’ve tracked, go to https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/. To learn more about the eagle tracking project, follow this link: https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/04/08/satellite-tracking-decorah-iowa-fledgling-bald-eagles-2011-2018/.
A million thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their data, expertise, and maps!