A pair of bald eagles joined the Alcoa Davenport community in Iowa in 2009. They built their 7-foot nest on our 400-acre facility in a tree near the Mississippi River. In the spring of 2010 they fledged a pair of eaglets and later that year we installed our first Eaglecam. Employees and the community helped name the eagle pair Liberty and Justice. Since the spring of 2010, Liberty and Justice have fledged nine eaglets from this nest.
Since the camera was installed nearly 27 million visitors from around the world have tuned in to witness an American icon, the bald eagle, developing live within this unique eco-system. In the fall and winter the eagles use the nest to eat and prepare the nest for the next season. Eagles nesting in Iowa typically lay eggs in mid-late February and the eggs hatch in mid-late March. The eaglets grow quickly and are ready to fly “fledge” in late May or early June. Alcoa is proud that our unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability is helping conserve our precious natural resources.
Monday, August 29, 2016Star "checked in" Today
Only one of our young eagles checked in this morning. Star is still in the area just north and west of Boscobel, Wisconsin. You can see in the tracking chart she spent most of her time Sunday in a pretty confined space and did not travel very far. With a little luck we will get a report from Sky in the next few days.
Posted at 5:10:42 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackSaturday, August 27, 2016Together (almost) Again
Good news today, we have tracking info for both Star & Sky. Below you will find several maps. The bottom line is that as of about 6am today they are both in the vicinity of Boscobel, Wisconsin. They appear to be just 3-4 miles away from each other. Star is just north and a bit west of the town and Sky is straight north of the town. I find it very interesting how they have traveled so differently to get to nearly the same location. The battery level for Sky's transmitter is still very low, so I expect we will continue to see data from him on a more sporadic basis.
Posted at 11:56:31 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, August 26, 2016Star Has Sent An Update
We have not seen anything from Sky for a few days, but this morning did bring an update from Star on where she has been for the last 24-hours. I will post the map below. She is still along the Wisconsin River near the town of Boscobel, WI (about 2 hours north of the Quad Cities). Apparently she is back within range of a cell tower.
I also wanted to give you an update on what we can expect to get from Star and Sky as time goes on. Here is a note from Dr. Tricia Miller who is leading the study of the eaglets in eastern Iowa and western Illinois:
Now that they have left the nest area, they may check-in more sporadically. Cell coverage can be spotty and that will be the main reason that you don't see them check-in everyday. Hopefully, they will settle in a spot that has good coverage. If not, they may go long periods of time without checking in. If they end up in Canada or even some places in WI or MN, they may not "check-in" for months. Unfortunately, this goes with the territory when using the cell technology units. While, there are many good things about using them - they can collect far more data than satellite units and they cost much less in terms of the price of the unit and especially in terms of data costs, we don't always know what happens to a bird when it goes out of coverage.
Posted at 10:05:49 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, August 25, 2016No Update Today
It looks like I won't get a position update on either Star or Sky today. Below is an image of the battery level from the pack on Sky as of two days ago. You can see the battery level has been trending down for a while. Until he either sits still for a day with his back facing the sun or his feathers get out of the way, the level is likely to stay low and we may just get reports once in a while. As for Star, her battery has stayed at a strong level the entire time. I suspect she is either out of range of a cell phone tower or some of the storms from Tuesday night and Wednesday night may have knocked out power to some towers up that direction. Hopefully we will see an update from her tomorrow.
Posted at 9:49:12 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, August 24, 2016Just One Track Today
Today I only have the tracking map for Star to share. The battery on the GPS unit for Sky has been low for several weeks. Some of you may have noticed before he headed out that his solar panel was more covered by feathers than the one on Star. There were two days last week when I did not get any data for Sky. It will all depend on how much time he is able to face the solar panel toward the sun as to when we get our next update from him. In the meantime, Star traveled about another 70 miles yesterday and in now north of Dubuque.
Posted at 9:50:34 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, August 23, 2016Busy Travel Day
It was another busy travel day yesterday for our pair of young eagles. Sky was by far the most ambitious, doing a u-turn and heading north past the Quad Cities and up into Jo Davies county (Illinois) almost as far north as Dubuque. Star on the other had headed north and a little west and appears to have ended up north of Clinton, Iowa in Jackson County. So by the end of the day the two were actually within a few miles of each other.
Posted at 10:00:42 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, August 22, 2016Star & Sky Have Left Town
Yesterday was a big day in the lives of this year's Alcoa Eaglets. Both Star and Sky look like they have left the nest area over the weekend. Attached are the tracking charts for Saturday into Sunday and Sunday into this morning.
Star (the female) is about 20 miles east of the Quad Cities near Geneseo, Illinois, and Sky (the male) is about 55-60 miles SSE of the QC a little past Galesburg, Illinois. At one point in the last 24 hours Sky reached a speed of just over 50mph and an altitude of about 1,200 feet. Star was a little slower posting a speed of just over 40mph and an altitude of about 500 feet.
As long at the GPS units continue to function we will be able to track them, but I do not expect them to return to the nest at this point.
Posted at 9:35:36 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, August 19, 2016A Little Air Time
Posted at 12:09:01 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, August 15, 2016Weekend River Exploration
It looks like both Star & Sky spent some time this weekend (Sunday) flying out over the Mississippi from the nest area. You will see below the most recent tracking maps show they both spent some time out over the water. Not the directional pointer on those spots. That shows direction at the time of the reading. I do not see any particularly fast data points so I suspect they were just kind of riding the thermals and the wind on Sunday. It was also nice to see the parents in and out of the nest over the weekend.
Posted at 2:31:09 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, August 11, 2016Expanding Their Territory
Both Star and Sky appear to have been very active yesterday. Below are the tracking screens for each of them from 6am yesterday until 6am today. Both of them had several data points indicating speeds between 25 and 30 mph. There was one data point for Sky with a speed noted of 40 mph. It is very exciting to see how far they have come from the night they fell out of the nest in early June.
Posted at 10:42:35 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, August 9, 2016Very Active Star Yesterday
Star wins the award for the most active yesterday. You will see how far she ventured. I had to zoom out some on her tracking image to fit it all on the screen. It will be heating back up for the next few days but the weather should be great for viewing the nest or for eaglets to fly around.
Posted at 9:55:45 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, August 8, 2016Weekend Exploration
Both Star and Sky appear to have ventured out over the Mississippi River this weekend. Below are the tracking screens from Sunday. It is very exciting to see both of them making such great progress as they get ready to head out on their own.
Posted at 10:05:23 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, August 5, 2016Making Progress
Both Star and Sky are making good progress pushing the boundaries of the nest area and getting some flying time. Below are the tracking maps for the time from 6am yesterday until 6am today. Looking inside the data I can see several points where each one was clocked at speeds approaching 30 miles per hour. It will not be long before they are soaring high above and learning to dive back toward the ground.
Posted at 3:15:30 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, August 1, 2016Stretching the Neighborhood
Our eaglets are starting to push the limits of the neighborhood. You will see in the tracking chart for Sky that he did venture out over the river for a while yesterday (date is from 6am yesterday to 6am today). The pointed mark indicates the direction he was flying when the data point was captured. Clearly he did not stay out there very long since we did not get another flying data point. But it is a start.
Posted at 3:23:51 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, July 28, 2016Still Here
Our Eaglets continue to stay pretty close to home. I know one of these days soon I will open the tracking report and see one or both of them have suddenly taken a big leap in travel...but not yet. Below are the tracking maps for Star and Sky from yesterday at 6am until today at 6am.
Posted at 5:45:28 PM | Permalink