D1, the Decorah eagle with the satellite transmitter, has taken a sudden fishing vacation to Canada.
After spending almost all of this year near or south of her natal area, the yearling took off May 3 for points north.
As of Wednesday – after covering 453 miles in 12 days, including a 139-mile leg on May 8 – she was well above Lake Superior, apparently bound for Hudson Bay.
“Her peregrinations are proving to be most exciting. We are learning so much about the movements of an Iowa-fledged eagle,” said Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project, whose nest-cam website attracts millions of viewers.
Anderson said he was shocked at her sudden departure and lengthy journey, which appears to be far from complete.
“I’m guessing she will spend the summer near Hudson Bay and stay there until winter drives her south,” said Anderson, who fitted her with the transmitter on July 12, a few weeks after she fledged from her parents’ nest near the Decorah Fish hatchery.
This year’s brood of three eaglets will fledge around June 20, according to Anderson, who intends to fit one of them with a similar transmitter around the Fourth of July.
Anderson said the detailed tracking of D1, which signifies Decorah first satellite, has impressed him with her pronounced affinity for rivers, her ability to make long flights and her apparent wanderlust.
“She has spent time along at least a dozen different rivers, which underscores the importance of maintaining good water quality,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, he said, is “how fast she can book – 140 miles in a single day.”
Although Anderson initially expected her to reside along the Mississippi River, not far from her natal area. her current northern journey is already her second, following a four-month, 850-mile tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota late last year.
Anderson said he is looking forward to 4:30 p.m. Monday, when his favorite television show, “Jeopardy,” will feature the Decorah eagles.
“I’m not sure if it will be a single question or a category, but the show’s producer said they were going to use some footage I sent them,” said Anderson, who described his allegiance to the program as “bordering on obsessive-compulsive.”
To view the Decorah eagles nest, go to www.raptorresource.org and click on the “bird cams” tab at the top of the page.