Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘telemetry’

NJ Bald Eagles: Fall Update

Friday, October 28th, 2016

By Larissa Smith:  Wildlife Biologist

The fall is a great time of year to spot a bald eagle anywhere in New Jersey. Eagles that nest and live further north are migrating south. Many will be staying to spend the winter months in NJ where there is usually warmer weather, open water and a supply of food. We’ve had a report of an eagle with an orange band sighted in Burlington County, NJ. The orange band means that the bird was banded in Massachusetts and the plumage shows the bird to be a first year bird banded this past season.

NJ nesting pairs are here year round and we’ve had reports of pairs already sprucing up their nests for the nesting season.

Adult brining stick back to nest 10/23/16@Alex Tongas

Adult bringing stick back to Nest 10/23/16@Alex Tongas

New Jersey eagles also travel out of state, a green banded eagle (NJ) was spotted down at High Rocks Lake in North Carolina October 16th by Carolyn Canzoniere. The code on the band wasn’t readable, but going by the plumage the bird was banded in 2013. This bird hasn’t yet reached sexual maturity, perhaps it’s checking out the area for future nesting in North Carolina.

NJ Banded eagle 10/16/16, High Rocks Lake, NC@Carolyn Canzonieri

NJ Banded eagle 10/16/16, High Rocks Lake, NC@Carolyn Canzonieri

Telemetry

CWF and NJ ENSP have been tracking two eagles outfitted with transmitters. The telemetry maps on the CWF website are currently being updated and redesigned to allow for easier viewing of “Nacote” and “Oran’s” movements. We hope to have the new maps up and running in the next few weeks.

Nacote D/95 continues to spend time around Cape May and Atlantic Counties.

He was photographed by Peggy Birdsall Cadigan on 10/23/2016 at Forsythe NWR, near his old nest site.

"Nacote" 10/25/16@ Peggy Cadigan

“Nacote” 10/23/16@ Peggy Cadigan

Oran” E/17: From July 18th until September 21st Oran was out of cell range. His last known location was near the Quebec/Maine border and then on the September 21st came back into range along the Maine coast. He made his way back down to southern New Jersey and was at Dennisville Lake, Cape May County on October 3rd. Mid-October he made a trip to Delaware and came back to NJ a day later and has been foraging and roosting in Cumberland County.

 

 

New Jersey Wildlife Telemetry Study Tracks Bald Eagles on Journeys Across Hemisphere

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

January 2015 is the Month of the Eagle! CWF is kicking off the new year by celebrating all things eagle. Follow us on social media and be sure to check your email (sign up for our list) for weekly stories on these amazing raptors from our own eagle biologist Larissa Smith. Larissa, a wildlife biologist who has been working for Conserve Wildlife Foundation since 2000, coordinates the New Jersey Bald Eagle Monitoring Project.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey releases results of 2014 State Bald Eagle Report

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Photo Credit: Chris Davidson

Photo Credit: Chris Davidson

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) today released the 2014 Bald Eagle Report, highlighting the number of nesting pairs, active nests and nest productivity for the raptors throughout New Jersey with data collected by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife biologists, CWFNJ biologists and dedicated volunteers.

 

Two young bald eagles were fitted with GPS tracking devices (wearable backpacks) in Summer 2014 to conduct a telemetry study to better understand raptor behavior. View the complete Bald Eagle Project Report online. ENSP biologists chose one eagle from Atlantic County (a male nicknamed “Nacote”) and one from Cumberland County (a female nicknamed “Millville”) to be tagged in this telemetry study.

 

Nacote was in Canada until mid-October when he started heading south. He visited Six Flags Great Adventure in December and for the past two weeks, he has been residing in northeast Atlantic County, especially Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Millville ventured out to Delaware Bay marshes in late July and back in early August. In mid-September, she crossed the Delaware River into Delaware and then spent most of September along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland before crossing over to Virginia.

 

“Tracking these young eagles is giving us insight into where the birds go once they fledge and the type of habitat they are using,” explained Conserve Wildlife Foundation Wildlife Biologist and Volunteer Manager Larissa Smith. “Unfortunately, we recently learned that the female was found dead in Delaware. The first year of life is tough for young eagles as they learn to survive on their own.”

 

2014 Eagle Report

The federal government removed the bald eagle from its list of Endangered Species in August of 2007, but the bald eagle’s official New Jersey status remains state-endangered for the breeding season and state-threatened for the non-breeding season. The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) bald eagle recovery efforts, implemented in the early 1980’s, have resulted in a steady recovery of New Jersey’s bald eagle population. ENSP biologists, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey staff, and volunteer observers continue to locate and monitor bald eagle nests and territories each year to analyze the state of the population.

 

2014 Report Highlights

  • The population of wintering bald eagles has grown along with the nesting population, especially in the last ten years. This growth reflects increasing populations in NJ and the northeast, as each state’s recovery efforts continue to pay off for eagles.
  • This season, 25 new eagle pairs were found.
  • The statewide population increased to 156 pairs (including nesting and territorial) in 2014, up from 148 in 2013.
  • A total of 156 nest sites were monitored during the nesting season, of which 146 were documented to be active (with eggs), up from 119 last year.
  • One hundred fifteen nests (79%) of the 145 known-outcome nests produced 201 young, for a productivity rate of 1.39 young per active and known-outcome nest.
  • The Delaware Bay region remained the state’s eagle stronghold, with 43% of all nests located in Cumberland and Salem counties.
  • 2014 marked the first year of successful eagle nesting in the Palisades Interstate Park in perhaps 100 years.

 

The telemetry study, in tandem with the most recent annual eagle report, has been illuminating.

 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to follow these juvenile bald eagles on their forays far from New Jersey,” said David Wheeler, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director. “With the eagles choosing to fly in completely different directions, it’s a reminder on how much we still have to learn about these fascinating creatures. Yet what is not in doubt is the bald eagle’s continuing recovery from the brink of extinction – thanks largely to the dedicated scientists leading the way.”

 

For maps of the movements of Nacote, updated regularly, visit our Eagle Project page.

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

 

 

Tracking New Jersey’s Bald Eagles

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Transmitters attached to juvenile eagles in 2014

by: Larissa Smith, volunteer manager/wildlife biologist

Juvenile male bald eagle (D/95) with GPS transmiter being attached. Kathy Clark/ENSP

Juvenile male bald eagle (D/95) with GPS transmiter being attached. Kathy Clark/ENSP

Since 2011, the NJDFW Endangered and Nongame Species Program and Conserve Wildlife Foundation have been following the movements of young eagles outfitted with transmitters that have fledged from the Merrill Creek nest in Northern New Jersey. Currently, two eagles are being tracked from the Merrill Creek nest.

During the summer of 2014, two juvenile bald eagles were fitted with a GPS tracking device (a wearable backpack). Biologists chose one eagle from Atlantic County (a male) and one from Cumberland County (a female) to be tagged in this telemetry study. The male hatched at a nest near Nacote Creek in Port Republic, and wears a green band with code D/95. The female is from a nest on the Maurice River; she wears color band E/05.

The male, named “Nacote” (D/95) had a transmitter attached at 8.5 weeks of age on May 6, 2014 and on May 22, he first moved away from the nest tree. He remained within about 1/4 mile for more than one week as he learned flying and landing skills. He made a bold northern movement in late July, and was in Canada until mid-October when he started heading south.

Nacote made a stop at Six Flags Great Adventure on December 1!

The female,  named “Millville” (E/05)  was about 8.3 weeks of age when outfitted with the transmitter. The banding date was May 19, and she remained close to the nest until late July, venturing out to Delaware Bay marshes and back in early August. In mid-September she crossed the Delaware River into Delaware and then spent most of September along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland before crossing over to Virginia.

The last location received for Millville was on November 17, 2014. On the 24th, we received a call that she had been found dead by the side of the road in Delaware. A necropsy was performed and cause of death was determined to be from electrocution due to a collision with electric wires.

We are lucky that a passerby stopped and contacted us, so we know what happened to her and were able to get the transmitter back. There is a high mortality rate for first year eagles as they learn to hunt, fly and survive on their own.

An interactive map showing Nacote’s current location can be viewed on our website.  It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up this winter!

 

 

 

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