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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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.

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Correspondence to Alvaro Soutullo.

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Communicated by F. Bairlein

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Soutullo, A., Urios, V. & Ferrer, M. How far away in an hour? Daily movements of juvenile golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) tracked with satellite telemetry. J Ornithol 147, 69–72 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-005-0020-x

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Keywords

  • Aquila chrysaetos
  • Distance
  • Dispersal
  • Movements
  • Satellite telemetry