Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harley's Southern Travels

Though bald eagles are not on the federal endangered species list any longer, tracking Harley's movements with his satellite transmitter has given us several surprises. One good reminder from Harley's information - researchers working on conservation plans for species may not always know all the questions that need to be asked, especially regarding habitat and range. Knowledge about a species is a growing body with new information always being added. We are learning new things with the information from Harley's travels, though it is unclear if we are learning more about Harley as an individual, or about bald eagles in general. We probably have more questions than answers based on his recent travels. This pattern of travel is certainly different than what he did last fall.

Harley has traveled a great deal this past late summer and fall. On the morning of Sept 13 he was on Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota where he had spent most of the last half of the summer. He moved 75 miles S/SE that day to Douglas County, WI, which is the general area he was recovered last year, and also spent time in last spring. He spent the next 12 days in the SW corner of Douglas County and then on the 25th of Sept he moved 27 miles south into Washburn County, WI. By the 29th he had moved 21 miles south into Barron County, WI.

In the past 2 weeks he has traveled about 640 miles through MN, IA, MO and is now in the Ozark Mts. of Arkansas. His specific travels were:

9/30 – 61 mi to Read’s Landing, MN
10/1 – 142 mi to Delaware Co., IA
10/2 – 76 mi to just south of Cedar Rapids, IA
10/3 - 175 mi into Missouri just south of the Missouri River
10/4 – 93 mi to near Springfield, MO
10/5 – 15 mi
10/6-7 – 40 mi to near the Arkansas border
10/8 – 20 mi to Boone Co., Arkansas where he spent a couple of days around what appears to be a large poultry farm
10/12 – 20 mi south into Searcy Co., Arkansas

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