CANBERRA’S LITTLE EAGLE TRAVELS FAR
Image Credits - Supplied
One of the ACT’s rarest birds who took to the skies over a year ago has had quite the journey.
A small GPS tracker attached by a harness to the back of a male Little Eagle has revealed some surprising information about the threatened species, particularly in relation to travel patterns.
“After successfully raising a chick in West Belconnen during Spring/early Summer, the one we are tracking has taken off to spend time in the tropical heat near Daly Waters in the Northern Territory – a flight path of 3,300 kilometres,” Environment Minister Mick Gentleman said.
“This distance was travelled in under three weeks and included flying 500 kilometres in one day, as well as reaching a maximum speed of 55 kilometres per hour.”
This isn’t the type of eagle you’re probably imagining.
The little eagle is one quarter the size of a wedge-tailed eagle and one of the smallest eagles in the world.
The species is listed as threatened in both NSW and the ACT after suffering a population decline over the last 30 years.
On March 9 2017, the male eagle left Canberra on its journey to the north.
“The little eagle was suspected of migrating between breeding and wintering territories. This study provides the first proof of this and a clear indication of the vast distances involved,” Minister Gentleman said.
During the nesting season, the bird’s thought to have hunted juvenile rabbits and middle sized birds such as magpies and rosellas over an area of 65 square kilometres.
In terms of how to manage the species into the future..
The project will continue to study the little eagle, with plans to put cameras at nest locations and attach trackers to other birds.