D36 and D27 Phone Home!

Where are D36 and D37? The warming weather is bringing eagles north by the tens of thousands, and D36 and D27 are among them! The two sent us eagle airmail from Preston, MN (D27) and Cedar Falls, IA (D36).

D27 headed north on March 4. She flew north to Wabasha and checked out the National Eagle Center, went further north to visit Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island plant, and could have been one of the many eagles I saw kettling above Diamond Bluff when I surveyed for falcons on March 10. She stayed for a few days before turning south to the Preston area, where she has remained since. I’m not familiar with her location, but a glance at Google Maps shows that she’s in the sort of steep, folded terrain that eagles love: creeks and rivers for catching fish and bathing, forested slopes for perching, and upland farms for scavenging. We’ll be curious to see if and when D27 heads to Ontario this summer: last year, she left quite abruptly on June 2nd after spending the winter in NE Iowa. D27 will turn four on April 1st.

D27's summer migration map, 2020

D27’s summer migration map, 2020

D36 is slowly heading north. After his polar plunge pilgrimage to southeast Iowa, he hooked north. Brett is still studying the data to decide exactly when his migration began, but as of March 17, he was a little northwest of Cedar Falls and about 66 miles south of his natal nest. Since we just started tracking him last year, we aren’t sure what to expect. Will he visit Canada and northern Minnesota, like D1, D27, and D24, or will he be more of a homebody? We’re looking forward to finding out!

Spring breezes are blowing and everybirdy is on the move! Stay safe, fly high, and don’t forget to write!

Some of you wanted to know how we find eagles locally. Their backpacks carry two antennas: one that talks to the satellite, which provides the data points that we share with all of you, and one that talks to our portable Yagi antenna. In this video, taken last year, RRP director John Howe finds eaglet D35.