Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TRC Rehabs another Golden Eagle

The Raptor Center successfully rehabilitated another Golden Eagle! A few weeks ago, this large female eagle was injured in WI, sustaining internal trauma. The photos for this post show the final phase of her rehabilitation, exercise to develop endurance and strong flight muscles. To do this, TRC uses a technique called creancing. Lightweight cord is attached to temporary leather straps called jesses on the bird’s-legs and the bird is allowed to fly in a controlled fashion. This way, TRC staff and volunteers can retrieve the bird until it is strong enough to be released to the wild.

Check back on the blog for the rest of her story! She was released last week after being fitted with a transmitter, like Golden Eagle 42, and hopefully will tell us more information about Golden Eagle biology and movement. Her number will be Golden Eagle 44. You can follow the Golden Eagle Project, courtesy of Audubon Minnesota, here.

Harley Heading North . . or not

After moving north out of Sherburne County up to the Mille Lacs WMA just south of Mille Lacs Lake Harley made a U-turn and spent the night of March 28 in Blaine.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Harley Travels March 21-25

The last few days have seen Harley move from Forest Lake north, then west to the southern end of Mille Lacs County and now south into Sherburne County where he was last night (Thursday, March 25).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Snowy and Hawk Owl at TRC

TRC celebrated the successful release of two northern owl patients on March 18. The Snowy Owl was released in the Duluth area, and the Northern Hawk Owl was released in the Sax Zim Bog area. The locations were chosen because TRC wanted to make sure the owls were released into the best habitats to get then on their way to northern breeding grounds. Linda Whyte and Terry Headley volunteered their time (and auto/gas!) to make sure the owls were sent safely on their way.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Harlet March 19-23

Harley has moved north out of the Twin Cities area. After spending a few days near Forest Lake he moved about 16 miles north to the Center City area on the 21st, then another 20 miles north and east on the 22nd into Chisago County and then headed almost due west 31 miles into southern Mille Lacs County.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Harley's Travels in March

Catching up with our favorite neighboorhood eagle . . . .

When we last saw our bird he was hanging around an industrial area near Shakopee. On the 14th of March he moved east back to the Mississippi River across from Grey Cloud Island. On the 16th he was a bit further north near Forest Lake where he has been through the 20th.
The first photo shows movements March 8-13. Second photo shows March 11-20, and last photo shows March 16-20.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Harley March 6-11

Harley has remained near the Minnesota River, having spent the past few nights around a somewhat industrialized section of Savage, MN. His hourly movements over these past few days have been very restricted as well. The data does not show him going to the river so it is possible he is feeding on carrion.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Harley's March (so far) and weekend travels

The first photo shows what Harley did this weekend (March 6-7). He moved north to the Minnesota River National Wildlife Refuge. The second photo shows his travels for the month of March so far; he spent March 1-5 around Grey Cloud Island and Spring Lake, both just south of St. Paul. On March 5 he moved a bit to the southwest and spent time around Murphy-Hanrehan Park near Burnsville. This park is an Important Bird Area.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Harley March 4

Harley has moved about four miles and spent last night (Thursday) on Spring Lake.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Harley March 2

After logging some decent distances, Harley has stayed in about the same area for the last couple of days.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Harley March 1

Harley has certainly been logging some miles these past few days. He started last week around Lillydale then went north of the Cities a bit and hung out around Blaine and Lino Lakes through Feb 26th. Saturday Feb 27th found him back down in Lillydale and Sunday he went south to Eagan. Yesterday, March 1, he crossed the Mississippi and spent last night on Grey Cloud Island.

This posting has an overall map showing all of his roosts since release and two maps that show the same information, but one has major roads and cities and the other has the roads removed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Interesting band return

The Raptor Center received some very interesting news from the Wisconsin DNR recently: In April 1997, TRC admitted two adult male bald eagles that were in a territorial fight at Island Lake in Wisconsin. One bird had been banded by Ron Eckstein (DNR) as a chick in the nest in 1979 (thus it was 18years old at the time of admission). Both eagles sustained soft tissue trauma, the banded bird with the least severe injuries. It was rehabilitated and released back at Island Lake two months later (the other eagle was released locally in October). The body of the banded bird was recently recovered in Rhinelander, WI. According to Ron, this bird has the longest known longevity of a wild bald eagle in WI – 31 years (and it survived 13 years after rehab!).

This information is a great reason why birds are banded. The Raptor Center bands most birds that it releases after rehabilitation. Other birds are banded as chicks, or in the wild. We have learned great information on where birds go to better understand conservation of land needs, as well as migration details, population information, and other. You can visit the Bird Banding Lab's website here for links on how to report a banded bird, information we have learned, and the species longevity records from banding returns!