[Tweeters] Where do the bald eagles go?

Kelly McAllister mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Thu Sep 28 18:53:37 PDT 2006

MessageI was talking about this with a couple of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees today. They had mentioned that, in a broad and wide-ranging tour for one of their Washington D.C. grants administrators last week, they didn't see a single bald eagle. Beebe, in his book, "Falconiformes of British Columbia" describes how bald eagles move north in the post-breeding season, not all of them, but a great share. They go as far as Alaska and northern British Columbia where the salmon runs start earlier than they do here. Fledgling eagles in northern California have been fitted with transmitters and discovered to move north along this coastal route, unaccompanied by adults, as though pre-programmed for the journey. 

Early on in my wildlife career, when I was really into eagles, I investigated the bald eagle observations submitted to the Nongame Program's Nongame Data Systems and discovered that late August, September, and early October was a period when strikingly few eagle observations were reported. It all adds up. Bald eagles really do make a mass movement out of western Washington during this period. I think they dribble back at no particular pace and the majority of the residents are likely back by late October or early November most years, maybe even earlier.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kelly McAllister
Washington Fish and Wildlife 
Olympia, Washington
reply to:mcallisters4 at comcast.net

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wise, Cathy 
  To: tweeters at u.washington.edu 
  Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:03 AM
  Subject: [Tweeters] Where do the bald eagles go?

  I get used to seeing bald eagles every day and then suddenly, in August, they disappear.  I thought maybe the rivers for salmon but there are none to be found......  Does anybody know where they go?  Thanks!

  Cathy Wise
  Everett, WA
  cathy.wise at cingular.com


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