Our eagles are on the move!

Our eagles are on the move! D35 surprised us all by making a big move north on the afternoon of August 12th. At 1:03 PM, she was hanging out near the corner of Highway 9 and Montgomery Street in Decorah – about 1.37 miles from her natal nest. By 4:03 – just three hours later! – she was 49 miles NW along the North Branch of the Root River: a lovely wild area that has the riverine valleys, steep folded terrain, and farmed uplands that eagles seem to love. But she continued to head north, passing by Xcel Prairie Island Generating Station (home to peregrine falcons) and pausing briefly at the north end of the island. Our last readings put her just south of the Hastings Bridge in Hastings, Minnesota. Click the images below to enlarge them.

While D35 spreads her wings, D36 is wandering a little closer to home. Brett wrote: “D-36 had a couple of nice out and backs lately. On August 12, he headed ENE about 9 miles at midday, then returned to the hatchery area the same afternoon. The urge to move increased and on August 14 he headed north nearly 35 miles into MN, near Rushford. He spent the night there and returned directly the next day. The homing instinct in these young birds continues to impress me!”

Meanwhile, D27 is headed back south again, although we don’t know whether she’ll continue to travel this way or take another northern loop. She covered 115 miles in a single day, stopping to rest 9.4 SE of Slate Falls, or about 538 miles north of her natal nest. She has tended to curtail her wanderings a little earlier than D1, although we had wondered whether or not fire and smoke was impacting her stay. There were a few fires in the area, but nothing like the conflagrations of the last two years. We will be very interested to see where she goes next!

August 16, 2020: D27's Map

August 16, 2020: D27’s Map

In August, to date:

  • D27 has traveled 122.6 miles
  • D35 has traveled 64.8 miles
  • D36 has traveled 95 miles

As always, a thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their expertise, maps, and data! If you’d like to follow the travels of any of the eagles we’ve tracked, visit our interactive maps at https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.