Where are eagles D27 and D36? The two appear to have opted for staycations this year, with D27 spending her time on the Upper Iowa just north of Decorah, and D36 exploring SE Minnesota.
D36 isn’t the only one wandering the Root water trail. This stunning area is just a little bit north of Decorah, Iowa
D36 is currently located on the north branch of the Root River near Chatfield, MN. It winds beneath tall hills, steep ridges, and – towards the Root – tall limestone bluffs. Like Decorah, this area has everything an eagle might want: a clean, cold, shallow river teeming with fish, steep, forested slopes for shelter and thermal soaring, and upland farm country with supplemental feed lots and views that go for miles. At 10,000 feet, D36 would just be able to see Decorah from his present location.
The view from 10,000 feet in Chatfield, MN
How about D27? She turned four on April 1st and will be old enough this fall to find a mate and settle down. She might not do so right away, but her decision to stay home this year might reflect a change in her hormonal regime. Although individual eagles vary, younger eagles often wander more than older eagles. Is D27 towards the end of her wandering years? Time will tell!
How far has each eagle traveled and is D27’s staycation decision a big change? We started tracking D27 on August 9 of 2017. She has traveled about 14,027 miles since then, including three trips to northwest Ontario (2018, 2019, and 2020, when the rest of us were stuck at home). So her staycation is a real departure from her previous three summers!
We started tracking D36 on June 30 of 2020 (I remember his capture well, since it wasn’t easy to work with masks on). He has traveled about 3,735 miles since then. His farthest trip north was to the Pelican Rapids, MN area, about 300 miles north of his natal nest, but he has tended to stay a little closer to home than his far-flung sister. We’ll see if this remains true as he goes through his second and third years.
Thanks so much for the airmail, D36 and D27. Fly high and stay cool! A thousand thanks also to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their expertise, maps, and data. If you would like to explore the travels of any of the eagles we’ve tracked, visit https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.