Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 147, Issue 1, pp 69–72 | Cite as

How far away in an hour? Daily movements of juvenile golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) tracked with satellite telemetry

  • Alvaro SoutulloEmail author
  • Vicente Urios
  • Miguel Ferrer
Original Article


We tracked the daily movements of three juvenile golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) using satellite telemetry. Straight distances covered in an hour and throughout a day were calculated. Daily movements of golden eagles are mostly characterized by short-distance excursions, with 64% of the distances covered in an hour shorter than 1 km and 95% shorter than 9 km. Both the longest movements and the largest proportion of long-distance movements, were concentrated between 1100 and 1800 hours, the peak of daily activities. Average hourly distances during that peak oscillated between 2 and 6 km, with records of more than 20 km. Distances covered in a day ranged between 0.1 and 53.2 km with an average of 14.0 km (SD=13.4). Differences in the distances covered at different times of the day probably reflect a balance between the temporal pattern of preferred prey’s activity and the eagles’ progressive satiation along the day on one hand, and the higher likelihood of thermal and updraughts (which facilitate long-distance movements) occurring at noon and the early afternoon, on the other.


Aquila chrysaetos Distance Dispersal Movements Satellite telemetry 



Thanks are due to the Conselleria de Territori i Habitatge of the Generalitat Valenciana (P. Mateache, M. Romanillos and A. Izquierdo), and to Luis Cadahía for his collaboration in the fieldwork and the retrieval of the data. This paper is part of A.S.’s Ph.D. thesis at the Universidad de Alicante.


  1. Bullock JM, Kenward RE, Hails RS (eds) (2001) Dispersal ecology. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Clobert J, Danchin E, Dhont AA, Nichols J (eds) (2001) Dispersal—causes, consequences and mechanisms of dispersal at the individual, population and community level. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Haller H (1982) Raumorganisation und Dynamik einer Population des Steinadlers Aquila chrysaetos in den Zentralalpen. Ornithol Beob 79:163–211Google Scholar
  4. Haller H (1994) Der Steinadler Aquila chrysaetos als Brutvogel im schweizerischen Alpenvorland: Ausbreitungstendenzen und ihre populations - ökologischen Grundlagen. Ornithol Beob 91:237–254Google Scholar
  5. Haller H (1996) Der Steinadler in Graubünden. Langfristige Untersuchungen zur Populationsökologie von Aquila chrysaetos im Zentrum der Alpen. Ornithol Beob Beiheft 9:1–167Google Scholar
  6. Kenward RE (2001) A manual for wildlife radio tagging. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Newton I (1979) Population ecology of raptors. Poyser, BerkhamstedGoogle Scholar
  8. Sanderson GC (1966) The study of mammal movements—a review. J Wildl Manag 30:215–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Soutullo A, Urios V, Ferrer M, Peñarrubia SG (2005a) Post-fledging behaviour in golden eagles: onset of the juvenile dispersal and progressive distancing from the nest. Ibis (in press)Google Scholar
  10. Soutullo A, Urios V, Ferrer M, Peñarrubia SG (2005b) Dispersal of golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos during their first year of life. Bird Study (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Sutherland WJ (1996) From individual behaviour to population ecology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Walker DG (1987) Observations on the post-fledging period of the golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos in England. Ibis 129:92–96Google Scholar
  13. Watson J (1997) The golden eagle. Poyser, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Estación Biológica Terra Natura (Fundación Terra Natura - CIBIO)Universidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, Estación Biológica de DoñanaConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasSevillaSpain

Personalised recommendations