Golden Eagle Maps

Where are Golden Eagles 731 and 733? You might remember that we posted about capturing two Golden Eagles and fitting them with transmitters in January and February – article here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/03/22/golden-eagle-trapping-in-the-driftless/ and Golden Eagle information here: https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/golden-eagles/.

731 is an adult female. She left her winter range in the Driftless north of La Crosse in late March and headed NNW to Nunavut. As of June 26, she was on Madam Daly Lake: an extremely remote region of Nunavut. We’ll see if she settles down on a territory.

733 is a sub-adult female. She her winter range in the Driftless north of La Crosse in April and headed north by west to north central Manitoba, on the western shore of Hudson’s Bay. As of June 24, she was about 77 miles north by west of Churchill, Manitoba. Since she’s a younger eagle, she might wander more widely. We’re looking forward to seeing what she does!

Golden Eagle range map. Map generate by eBird.org

Golden Eagle range map. Map generated by eBird.org

I’m fascinated by the differences between Nunavut and the Driftless. A breeding pair of Golden Eagles on the steep slopes of Bathurst inlet in Nunavut might take seals, arctic fox, marmots, arctic and snowshoe hares, ermine, wolverines, ptarmigan, a wide variety of waterfowl, and whale and dolphin carcasses that wash ashore. In the Driftless, that same pair will feed on wild turkeys, pheasants, weasels, cottontail rabbits, red and grey fox, coyote, white-tailed deer, and roadkill and farm carcasses. In each place, the pair will eat different prey, adjust their hunting techniques to different terrain, and face vastly different landscapes – a change that requires intelligence and the ability to learn quickly.

I knew that Golden Eagles can fly high and fast, but didn’t really understand what that meant until we started tracking them. Ryan Schmitz has been providing our map and eagle updates. He reported that, on May 4, she traveled north 204 miles in about 6 hours and 15 minutes (a rate of 33 mph) past Duluth, MN, reaching an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet! She covered another 91 miles the following day, stopping just short of the Canadian border. She crossed the border on May 6 with a short 15-mile trek northwest to 13 miles northeast of International Falls, MN. On 5/7 she flew NNW 115 miles to 36 miles northeast of Kenora, ON. At one point, she stooped from an elevation of 5254 feet, reaching a max speed of 90mph!