Satellite Tracking: Thanks for the airmail, D27 and D36!

Where are D27 and D36? They are still sending postcards from their wintering grounds in Iowa – although we’re curious to see what D27 decides to do this year! Last year, she left Decorah quite abruptly on July 16 for her summering grounds. How abruptly? She arrived at in NW Ontario on July 27: a flight of 633 miles in just 11 days! But she’s staying more or less put right now. We’ll see if and when that changes. Brett wrote: “D27 continues to meander nine to 19 miles north of the hatchery, slipping over the MN border on May 4, but returning to IA on May 6.” D27 turned five years old on April 1st, which means she is old enough to start nesting if she decides to settle down.

Little half-brother D36 – part of DM2’s second clutch with Mom – is sticking tight to the West Fork of the Cedar River, northwest of Cedar Falls and not too far from the Big Marsh Wildlife Management Area. As we’ve seen so many times, he is sheltering along low rolling hills that rise maybe 100 to 200 feet above the West Fork. The West Fork is well-stocked with fish, the rolling hills give cover and lift, and upland farms and confined feedlot operations offer easy food alternatives if fish aren’t biting – or being bitten!

Stay well, fly high, and please remember to write. We’ve got our fingers and talons crossed for both of you! As always, a thousand thanks to Brett Mandernack and the staff of Eagle Valley for sharing their maps, data, and knowledge with us. If you’d like to follow the travels of any of the bald eagles we’ve tracked, visit our interactive maps at https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.