March 15, 2023: D27 eating roadkill. Based on its striped tail, this was a raccoon. Raccoons aren’t true hibernators, but at this latitude, they spend a lot of winter holed up in their dens. They tend to be eager to get out, explore, and eat come spring. Note the dark head streaks. Some eagles retain minimal dark streaking past their fifth year. D27 turns six in about a month.
Who’s that eagle with a transmitter? Photographer Seth Vreeman just sent us these photos. He wrote: “I photographed a Bald Eagle just south of Canton, MN tonight. I was surprised when I got home and saw that it had a transmitter on its back. I was far enough away that I didn’t even notice it. The lighting wasn’t great and, like I said, I was a pretty good distance away. Not my best shots, but pretty cool nevertheless!”
Thanks to Seth for sending us the photographs, giving us permission to share them, and standing back to give D27 her space! She appears to have found a nice piece of roadkill and didn’t want to leave even a scrap behind.
Why do we think it’s D27? D27 turns six years old in about a month and her colors are consistent with those of a young adult. Per the Crossley Guide, some adults retain minimal dark head streaks beyond their fifth year, which this eagle has. She is also wearing our style of transmitter and has a band on her right leg, which is how Brett banded D27. And she’s hanging out near Canton, MN: a popular spot for D27, but not for any of our other eagles. We documented D27 in the area in late March and early April of 2022, May of 2021, and late March of 2020. She also had brief flyovers in March of 2019 and 2018. In short, she’s been visiting the area for a very long time!
March 15, 2023: Our cluster map for the Canton area, outlined in red. This area was quite popular with D27 and we tracked her here in 2022, 2021, and 2020.
We don’t know whether she’s nesting or not, but we will be surveying near Canton to see what we can find. There is some excellent nesting potential south and east of town. Thanks to Seth and D27 for the postcards and Brett Mandernack and Ryan Schmitz for sharing their maps, data, and expertise with us! To follow the travels of any of the eagles we’ve tracked, please visit our interactive maps at https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/eagle-map/.