Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall Update

Greetings all. Sorry to be out of touch for a while, but I have been swamped with data analysis, manuscript preparation, and report writing.

I have corresponded with both Charlie Todd (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife) and Mark McCollough (US Fish and Wildlife Service) about the eagle activity that you have observed. Their consensus is that what you have been observing is fairly normal for this time of year. Generally, the adult are less protective of their nest site and juveniles are disbursing throughout the region. We have a satellite transmitter on a juvenile from last year that has traveled from Maine to Pennsylvania to Virginia to Maine to south again.

Charlie notes that young of the year are bumbling around this time of year trying to make a living independently and generally trying to avoid conflicts with adults. The younger birds rarely have any urge to settle down until they are four, and successful breeding doesn’t usually occur until five to seven years.

The chatter of the birds that you are hearing off camera indicates that an eagle is communicating with another bird.

Over the last two years the adult have not started working on the nest seriously until the end of February, so there is still quite a bit of time before activity picks up.
There have been some questions regarding the infrared light. Since the birds are not present regularly at the site we have turned the light off to conserve the bulb. The bulb is only good for so many hours and we want ensure that it will be fully functioning during the breeding season.

I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season.

Wing GoodaleBioDiversity Research Institute