Back north! Kuyurnpa completed her 10-day desert trip today after continuing north from her last position, and returning to... guess where? That favourite spot at the mouth of the De Grey River. The journey is shown in the above map - click to enlarge. It would be great to get inside her head and know what caused her to 'wander off' on a 930 km trip - searching for a mate? I think it is too early for this given she is still in her first year. And perhaps she just loves flying? I know I would.
It is more likely that Kuyu is wandering to become familiar with her surroundings, and is travelling to wherever there is food. Young eagles especially like to take advantage of carrion along roadsides, and this food source probably helps many through dry times. Although many eagles get killed while feeding on kangaroo carcasses, this cause of death has probably become a substitute for natural death caused by drought, and I suspect it has little impact to the population.
This recent trek takes Kuyu's total distance travelled since beginning dispersal to a whopping 6 800 kilometres!!! That's about 1.5 times the width of Australia. Not a bad effort for a journey that has only lasted just over 2 months.
|A sub-adult female wedge-tailed eagle prepares to kick the crows off and take her share of this road-killed red kangaroo. Her bulging crop tells us she has already recently fed elsewhere.|