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Skagit River Bald Eagles: Movements, Origins and Breeding Population Status - 1997 Progress Report

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Wildlife Research

Date Published: August 1997

Number of Pages: 16

Author(s): James W. Watson and D. John Pierce

In the winter of 1996-97, a study was initiated to investigate the origins and breeding population status of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) wintering on the Skagit River, Washington. Eighteen eagles were trapped on river bars, including 9 adults that were affixed with satellite transmitters. Following capture, eagles spent from 1 to 52 days on the river. Northward migration was along coastal British Columbia, and through interior British Columbia. Most eagles arrived at breeding areas in April. Eagles originated from widely dispersed populations from southern British Columbia to northern Yukon territory, and east along the McKenzie River in Northwest Territories. As of mid-June, two adults had been observed on breeding areas. Satellite monitoring will continue into fall, 1997, with plans to deploy at least 6 additional transmitters in winter 1997-98.