Research sheds light on bird behaviour
Research carried out in the Northern Goldfields has helped shed light on the behaviour of wedge-tailed eagles.
Simon Cherriman undertook research on the giant predators at Lorna Glen, near Wiluna.
He tagged three eagles — adults Gidjee and Wallu, and the juvenile Kuyurnpa — with GPS trackers, allowing their movements across a broad swathe of the Goldfields to be accurately traced. Recent data from the project shows the territorial adults patrolling a “home range” around 50sqkm, and soaring as high as 6.5km.
Mr Cherriman said he was also surprised by the huge area covered by Kuyurnpa.
GPS data shows the path the young eagle took after she left home seeking her own territory.
Mr Cherriman said the search took her across thousands of kilometres, down from the South Australian border and nearly as far north as Broome.
“She’s been over Kalgoorlie a couple of times, she’s crossed the Great Victoria Desert,” he said.
“Even in the first few weeks after dispersal, it’s not just a few kilometres a day — it was a sudden trip north, like she had an appointment she was late for.”
Mr Cherriman said the research had helped give a better understanding of how eagles patrolled their home patch.
“The work that was previously done on wedgies in WA was in a period where there wasn’t this technology we have now,” he said.
Simon Cherriman with Kuyurnpa the wedge-tailed eagle during recent research conducted at Lorna Glen near Wiluna.