Migration routes, timing, and nest site fidelity of Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and Bald Eagles (Haliaetus leucocephalus) as they relate to Military Aircraft Activity in Labrador

       According to the Department of National Defence, Goose Bay Allied detachment sorties have experienced birdstrikes at an increasing rate over the past five years, sometimes with collateral damages in the excess of $3 million dollars.  The objective is to reduce the occurrence of birdstrikes and assess raptor movements in relation to the military aircraft training.  We are examining the migratory movements of juvenile and adult Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and Bald Eagles (Haliaetus leucocephalus) breeding in Labrador using satellite telemetry.  During the two year study period, Bald Eagles and Osprey will be captured and fitted with Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTT).  Geographical Information System (GIS) technology will be used to cross-reference raptor movements with bird strike data and aircraft flight tracks.  In 2002, we fitted 5 Bald Eagles and 4 Osprey with PTT’s (Mod 100, Microwave Telemetry Inc., Columbia, MD).  Bald Eagle transmitters are battery-powered, weigh 95g and have a 4 season duty cycle, 8h on per transmission.  We programmed the season to provide increased location frequency during nesting and migration periods.  Osprey transmitters are solar powered, weigh 35g and transmit daily 6h on and 18h off.  Preliminary results suggest Bald Eagles migrate through the military training area between the second week of October and end of November.  Osprey transmitters ceased transmission during the latter part of October, therefore migratory status is unknown.

Dawn Laing

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