Range Use and Contaminants of Golden Eagles in Washington: Progress Report 3


Published: January 2009

Pages: 11

Author(s): James W. Watson and Robert W. Davies


In 2008 we conducted the fourth full year investigating the movements, range use, and contaminant loads of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in Washington. We captured and telemetered three adult eagles, sampled their blood for lead, and monitored their year-round movements with satellite telemetry. Prey were collected and identified from nine nests. To date, of 14 eagles tested for lead, six (43%) had background levels of lead, four (29%) had excessive levels of lead, and four (29%) had levels suggestive of toxicosis. There was no consistent geographic pattern associated with lead levels. Sampling has included birds on 20-30% of territories that are typically occupied in Washington, documenting lead contamination as a widespread and important concern for nesting golden eagles. Plans for 2009 include continued sampling of blood and prey collections at nests.

Suggested citation

Watson, J.W., and R.W. Davies. 2009. Range use and contaminants of golden eagles in Washington. Progress Report 3. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington.