Monday, 4 January 2016

930 Days... then One Day Off

 
In the two and a half years we have spent keeping a detailed eye on Wallu's movements, he has not left the fixed and precisely bounded piece of Matuwa that comprises his home range. Despite occasional daily wanderings of up to 60 km, Wallu has for more than 900 consecutive days roosted at home. Today we recorded a break in that trend - Wallu decided to wander ~35 km east and spend the night in a small patch of trees alongside a creek-line half way between the Matuwa boundary and the Gunbarrel Highway. This spot is shown by the eastern-most red dot on the above map (click to enlarge). The next day he was back home again, ending the next few days at well-used roost sites. Are his two daughters Djentu and Minyma still in Wallu and Wurru's territory? I would love to know!

So what are all the green dots!? You might remember from previous posts (scroll down) that green is the colour I've used for our two-and-a-half-year-old girl Kuyurnpa. Her behaviour continues to be very interesting, with the contraction back towards her natal territory observed in the past few weeks carrying on. As you can see on the above map, which shows the past month of tracking data, Kuyurnpa has actually roosted on Matuwa for two nights (she even saw the New Year in just 10 km north of her natal territory!), and continues to regularly wander between the property and the neighbouring Wongawol and Carnegie stations to the east and north. This behaviour is almost identical to that observed for a young male Spanish Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), who contracted his wanderings back to within 20 km of his natal nest in his third year. I am so curious and excited about what Kuyurnpa will do in the next 12 months - will she settle down and breed? Let's keep tracking to find out!

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