Monday, 4 April 2016

Seasonal Change

The 2016 autumnal equinox has now passed (this occurred on 20th March), signalling the beginning of a new 'eagle year'. This means the breeding behaviour of territorial adults will start to increase, particularly in the form of display flights, and any of last season's offspring still 'at home' will probably have commenced dispersal by now. Kuyurnpa began this new phase in her life on 29th March, just over 2 years ago.

Checking in on the progress of our two tagged eagles Wallu and Kuyurnpa again has revealed some very interesting updates. Kuyurnpa's 'homing' behaviour that we've seen over the last few months seems to have continued, with visits to Matuwa or nearby being recorded every 10 days or so (see the above map). One GPS fix from 3pm on 27th February shows her flying 700m above the ground only 8km north-west of the nest on which she hatched about 960 days ago! For most of the time, however, Kuyurnpa has been occupying a smaller 'home range' on the northern edge of Lake Carnegie, an area about 50km across. This is a place she has frequented quite a bit in the past year or so, perhaps in relation to some of the wetlands containing water (35mm of rain fell here at the start of February).

Not much has changed with Wallu! You can see the cluster of red dots on the above map which tell us he's remained within his home range. Daily activities involving high daytime soaring and morning/evening visits to favourite foraging areas are also consistent with previous tracking data.

What will happen next? Let's keep on tracking to find out :)