Thanks for writing, D27 and D36!

Thanks for writing, D27 and D36! D27 has moved back into her favorite wintering spot just south of the hatchery, dashing our hopes for a nest in the Spillville area this year. If you visit the cluster map and drill way, way in, you’ll be able to see just how much time she’s spent in this area in spring, winter, and fall.
D36 has headed a little further south since his last eagle airmail. He’s currently spending time on the Iowa River in the Meskwaki Nation Settlement near Tama, Iowa. I’m sure he has plenty of company since the Nation has preserved a lot of land within their borders and it looks like excellent eagle habitat: plenty of low bottomland and a beautiful high upland with cliffs and steep slopes for thermal soaring and night time sheltering.

When can we expect D27 and D36 to head north, and will D27 head north? Our eagles have typically widened their wanderings in March as the weather warms, ice melts, and migratory adult eagles head north for the breeding season. But last year, D36 and D27 didn’t really head north until July, and neither one stayed north very long. That wasn’t surprising in the case of D27, since older eagles don’t tend to wander as much even when they aren’t nesting. We were a little surprised by one-year-old D36 and are very curious to see what he does this year.

Thanks for phoning home, eagles. Stay safe and don’t forget to write! As always, feel welcome to visit our interactive maps to explore the travels of all the eagles we’ve tracked: A thousand thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their maps, data, and expertise with us, and to Kohler Company for supporting our bald eagle tracking program!