Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh Canada!

Golden eagles were thought to be relatively rare in the hill and valley region bordering the mighty Mississippi river valley between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Most experts believed they were lost wanderers from the Rocky Mountain west. More interested birders, better equipment and knowledge of differentiating the big brown eagle from their immature Bald Eagles cousins, has begun to change that opinion. Goldens nest all the way up to the Arctic coast in Alaska and Western Canada. Their range maps show nothing along the western edge of Hudson Bay.
From late April to May, Whitey flew from western Wisconsin north to Duluth Minnesota at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. Then he crossed into Ontario, Canada. And then he kept on going and going and going. Past Churchill on the southern shore of Hudson Bay. Then north along Hudson's western edge, a region. It traveled 2,382 miles, averaging 72 miles per day. Its longest one-day flight was 193 miles. From late May to early October, Whitey spent the summer wandering over an immense area of Nunavut — from the northern shore of Hudson Bay to a lake above the Arctic Circle. It had been a migration of astonishing proportions and came as a total surprise to everyone. Or as one of the experts said, "Wow!" And then on October 7, he turned and headed back toward his winterhome By early November, Whitey was back in southwestern Wisconsin after a 26-day, 1,750-mile migration.
Mark Martell, director of bird conservation for Audubon Minnesota said the finding has conservation implications. "These birds are cool, just cool," Martell said. "Here’s this huge, predatory bird that we weren’t even aware was here on a regular basis."
Their presence raises a serious issue — how best to protect them —. But more information is needed first. I will report the results of the survey Mrs. T and I helped take as soon as they arrive.

6 comments:

  1. Unbelievable. What an amazing journey. It is hard to believe Whitey traveled so many miles. They are awesome creatures.

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  2. Troutbirder, this is an amazing series. I have posted a link your eagle tales form my blog. Well done!

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  3. Troutbirder. Way to use your training as a historian. Good Job! Great post. Not many blogs one can read and come away with information of value. Thanks. I would guess you were a great classroom teacher.

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  4. Wow, I had no idea they traveled that far and wide. Very interesting post, TB.

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