D27 phones home!

D27 phoned home! Our wandering eaglet sent a postcard from Bluffton, Iowa – roughly a mile or so from Bob’s old peregrine falcon breeding project. She’s been wandering more as the days grow longer and the weather warms. In January, D27 logged a total of 132.5 miles over 88 data points, with an average trip distance of 1.5 miles. She hunkered down just a tiny bit more in February: logging 132.2 miles, with an average trip distance of 1.1 miles. She spread her wings a bit more in March, traveling 202 miles (so far), with an average trip distance of 2.0 miles.

March 23, 2020: D27's latest map

March 23, 2020: D27’s latest map

When will she leave for migration? We started tracking her in the fall of 2017. In 2018, she left for her northern migration on May 8. She left on May 20 in 2019 – a cold winter with a late, very wet spring! So far, this spring is shaping up to be a little earlier. We’ll see how that affects her migration.

What would D27 look like now? We’ve haven’t had much luck finding her and three-year-old eagles are extremely variable in plumage colors and patterns. However, she will have salt and pepper plumage, her beak will just be starting to yellow, and her eyes will be paler – much like these two eagles from the Flyway Cam.

Fly high, D27! We’re thinking of you. As always, a thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing the expertise, data, and maps. If you’d like to follow the travels of any of the eagles we’ve tracked, go to https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.