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Since there have been numerous recent local sightings of Golden Eagles in our area, I thought you might be interested in some information we obtained a few years ago at a banding conference in Tennessee.

There is a population of Golden Eagles that breed in Canada above Maine.  In the fall, they migrate down the east coast to the area around the Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina corner.  However, it was unknown what path they took in the Spring to return to Canada.  The DNR's of those states as well as US Fish & Wildlife put out roadkill deer carcasses to capture and put transmitters on Golden Eagles to track their Spring route.  

At least three were tracked.  They flew from that corner northwest thru Tennessee into Kentucky, continued northwest into Illinois, followed the Mississippi River north into Wisconsin, crossed the Mackinaw Bridge, and then flew northeast into Canada.  They stayed under cover in the forested areas as much as possible.

I asked Mark Shieldcastle, ornithologist from Black Swamp attending the conference, about this seemingly different behavior than the Western Golden Eagles.  He said that because of this behavior, there's a possibility that this group could be separated in the future as Eastern Golden Eagle.  I always think of this presentation when I read about Golden Eagle sightings in our area in the Spring.

Pat Lueders, Webster Groves 



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