Satellite-tracking study reveals new insights into golden eagle dispersal behaviour

15 November 2013

A new paper has just been published that reveals new insights into the dispersal behaviour of young golden eagles in Scotland. The study examined satellite tag data from 24 young golden eagles, tagged between 2007-2010 in 20 different home ranges. The results show that the majority of these eagles stayed in their parents’ territory for some considerable time after fledging, even though they made short, temporary excursions (up to 44km) before eventually dispersing for good. The authors suggest that these temporary excursions may help the young birds to decide when they should ‘properly’ leave and where might be the best place to go when they do leave. The study forms part of a PhD being undertaken by North East Raptor Study Group member Ewan Weston. 

Weston, E.D., Whitfield, D.P., Travis, J.M.J. and Lambin, X. (2013). When do young birds disperse? Tests from studies of golden eagles in Scotland. BMC Ecology 13: 42. 

The full paper is available to download here.