Bernheim Golden Eagles Will Begin Migration in Coming Days

By Andrew Berry

Athena’s Talon

Spring migration for the pair of golden eagles at Bernheim is likely just days away. Harper, the male eagle we have been tracking since 2015, began his migration north on March 9th in 2018 and March 12th in 2015. Each year he has followed a similar route on his way north to Churchill, Manitoba on the Hudson Bay lowlands. We believe that migration may begin on Saturday, March 9, as the forecast predicts southerly winds, which would aid in their travel north.

The eagles’ migration is a definite sign that spring is almost here; this year Bernheim will be providing daily updates on the travels of both Harper and Athena. We will compare the routes to previous years and highlight interesting stopovers and behaviors. Especially of interest is whether these two birds are a breeding pair or just winter companions. Since January 27 they have spent most days together, although short periods have been spent apart. If they travel north together we will see how their flight tracks interact with each other’s and continue to learn how golden eagles use stopovers while crossing fragmented and degraded habitats.

For the past few weeks, the pair of golden eagles has been roaming south of Bernheim. They have spent some time in the knobs south of the Bluegrass Parkway near Nelsonville. This is a part of the Knobs Corridor that extends south of the Bluegrass and connects to the Appalachian Plateau. Recently they returned to the Bernheim main block and have been roaming throughout the Wilson Valley. Stay tuned for updates once migration begins possibly as early as this weekend.

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