D27, D35, and D36 all phone home!

Where are the eagles? D27 sent a postcard from Lake Petownikip in northwestern Ontario this week! She is on an island journey, foraging and perching extensively on the tiny islets that dot the lake. Meanwhile, D35 is beginning to broaden her travels! Brett wrote: “Look who is getting a little adventurous! Two jaunts of nearly two miles one-way in a day! It is nice she came back to her natal area by day’s end.” We thought D36 might begin exploring first, but he is still sticking fairly close to his natal nest. His longest journey so far was .365 miles on July 2nd, not long after fledge. Click on the maps below to enlarge them.

Are D35 and D36 staying together as they widen their explorations? Not especially, although they seem to be the best of friends on their home territory. Both of them took their longest journeys alone, or at least absent the company of one another. We saw a similar pattern with D24 and D25 back in 2016. The two eagles stuck together near the nest, but dispersed on different days and in different directions. We are very curious to see what D35 and D36 do.

How do they compare with the other eagles we’ve tracked? Although our eagles have been unique in the times, places, and ways they dispersed, we saw some general patterns. Most of them lengthened their travels slowly, taking time to learn to fly, soar, navigate, and land well as they began the process of leaving their natal territory. The following couple weeks will most likely bring longer journeys as our fledglings take to the sky! On average, the Decorah eaglets that we’ve studied disperse from their territory in the first week of September, although D1 left on August 13, 2011, with almost no pre-dispersal wandering, and Four didn’t leave until October 25, 2014. I’ve added maps for comparison.

As always, a thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their expertise, data, and maps. You can visit our interactive maps to learn more about all of the eagles we’ve tracked: https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.