Thursday, July 03, 2014

What's up with Four (or why aren't you calling the Decorah eaglets "Dx" anymore)?

For the last couple of days, the most commonly asked question on facebook has been something along the lines of "Why are you calling D19 or EWT Four now?" We've also been asked if that means this year's fledglings are going to be referred to as D2, D3, and D4, and what this means for any other birds we've transmitted. I'll start with a recap of our EEE's:
  • Four, fka EWT or Eaglet With Transmitter, was first spotted on a road near Decorah roughly a week after fledge began. After a call from police, Bob brought her to his mews for examination and observation and fitted her with a transmitter. She has been rescued twice -- once in a corn field and another time when she was wedged against some woven wire fencing on the ground. She was the one who was relocated to the mulch pile to be with her brother EWOT/Indy. Beak depth and hallux claw measurements taken at the time we fitted the transmitter indicated that she was a female eagle. 
  • EWOT, or Eaglet Without Transmitter (aka Indy), has never been picked up and moved elsewhere. It was found at the city mulch piles about 1 mile from the nest. Bob and Brett trapped him on July 4th, attached a transmitter, and renamed him Indy. Sadly, Indy was found electrocuted on July 8th:
  • SOAR or Mr. SOAR is the eaglet who had surgery at the rehab facility of the same name (Saving Our Avian Raptors). SOAR (the eaglet) is recuperating and we get almost daily updates of his progress. Kay at SOAR and veterinarian Dr. Dirks believe that SOAR is a male eagle based on his size and weight. 
So why the name change? As looks and defining features change, (especially after fledge), Bob preferred to have new nomenclature established since we cannot be 100% sure of IDs. "Four" is the last number of Four's transmitter ID and WOT (Without Transmitter) was an obvious and easily identifying feature (or lack thereof) that could be used to differentiate between the two. After we attached a transmitter to EWOT, Bob and Brett renamed him Indy, short for Independence, because he was captured on the 4th of July. We don't have any plans to change the pre-fledge nomenclature of D + N, so as far as I know we'll start with D21 next year. 

I'm going to close with a quote by William Shakespeare, which seems appropriate both for its subject matter and the Bard's great fondness for falconry metaphors: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Fly on, fledglings! You are such stuff as dreams are made on!


BA1, personal communication and information about Shakespeare's falconry metaphors.

SE1, personal communication and facebook responses.

TW1, personal communication and Ustream responses.


Susan B. said...

I really appreciate this blog and your posts about the eaglets. I have been watching the Decorah Eaglet nest all winter and have grown attached to the family. I am so happy D20 has been rescued and is in good care. I admire all of you and your efforts, Thank you.

Tammy Henderson said...

Just to clarify--is the number 4 from the transmitter or the band? I had read somewhere it was the last digit on the band.

Andree Lemieux said...

Would the new ID system be even more confusing if one of the number on one of the next transmitter installed also ends with a 4? Does it limit the possibilities of ID to 10?