D27, D35, and D36 check in!

Where are our eaglets? It looks like D35 is on on the move! Brett wrote: “She covered nearly 99 miles on 12-24 as she bolted from the Upper Iowa River NW of the hatchery, ending the day near Anamosa, IA. She passed relatively close to her brother who was near Manchester, IA, at the time. Maybe she tipped a wing as she flew by! On Christmas day she headed south to the Cedar River, stayed a couple of days, then headed SSW to very near Iowa City along Hwy. 1 by yesterday evening. Stay tuned!”

While D35 puts some miles on, D27 has stayed fairly close to her natal nest. After a brief excursion south, she returned to a favorite winter area just south of the Trout Hatchery. Its steep hills, sheltered valleys, running water, and upland farms provide all the food, cover, and perches an eagle could want. Although we don’t know for sure, it seems likely she will stay in the area as long as there is plenty of food available. We’ll see what happens in January!

After a brief excursion SE, D36 returned to the Backbone Park area. This was also a popular spot for D1 and D27, although D24, D25, and D35 haven’t spent any time here. What makes one eagle decide to winter in an area while a sibling passes it by with a wing wave? We wish we knew, but we are learning a lot from D35 and D36 even though we can’t completely decipher their postcards home. Stay warm eaglets, and don’t forget to write!
As always, a thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their maps, wisdom, and expertise.