D35, D36, and D27 phone home!

Our eaglets sent postcards! As of October 11, D35 was exploring the northern reaches of Elk River, MN; D36 was spending time near Postville, IA; and D27 was back on her wintering grounds just south of the hatchery. While we haven’t seen D27 at the hatchery yet, she’s spending a lot of time just two to five miles south of it – an area with running water, steeply folded hills, and corn and hog farms on the flat lands.

October 14, 2020: D27's map

October 14, 2020: D27’s map

We were hoping that homebody D36 might run into one of his siblings, but he left town not long after D27 arrived, shifting about 24 miles SSE of Decorah! The area he’s in now has been quite popular with our eaglets: D27, D24, D14, and Diva D1 all spent some time there. He’s meandering along the wooded slopes of the Turkey River at the western edge of Iowa’s Driftless country.

October 14, 2020: D36's map

October 14, 2020: D36’s map

Meanwhile, D35 is spending her time just north of Elk River, MN. There is a huge landfill about five miles north of the Mississippi River and a large number of known bald eagle nests about 80 miles northwest of it. Given what we know about eagle dispersal and migration, I’m willing to bet that she has a lot of company. I’m hoping to get a chance to find out later this week! Fly high, stay fierce, and don’t forget to write!

October 14, 2020: D35's map

October 14, 2020: D35’s map

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

October 14, 2020: All the eagles in October

October 14, 2020: All the eagles in October

Bonus map: all the eagles we’ve tracked in October of every year we have data. Eagles are highly individual in their behavior, although any given eagle tends to stick to a migration schedule and route, once a route has been established. An example: female eagle D1 left her summer grounds every October, while female eagle D27 leaves her in September. Departure timing can vary a little bit, but only by about a week.