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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Golden Eagle Migration Path

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is conducting research on Golden Eagles wintering in Tennessee as part of a large project across the Appalachian Mountains, coordinated through the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group.

Research is designed to document occurrences of Eastern Golden Eagles on the wintering grounds, which will allow for a greater understanding of population size and habitat use. Through tracking birds with transmitters, TWRA biologists hope to better understand specific habitat uses, spatial movements, migration corridors—especially in areas where there is potential for wind development—and the effects of spent lead ammunition, leg hold traps, and forest fragmentation on Eastern Golden Eagles. Ultimately we will gain more information about the origin of Eastern Golden Eagles wintering in Tennessee and the Southeast as the birds collect data year round and will provide detailed information on breeding locations.

The Golden Eagles are coming back for the winter

Golden Eagles from several locations in Tennessee have been fitted with cell tower transmitters to track the migration routes of individual birds. These birds return from Canada to spend the winter in Tennessee and surrounding areas each year. The transmitters send the data though cell tower networks that are located throughout the world. The transmitters are deployed on the eagles in the winter in Tennessee. When the birds migrate north into Canada there is no cell phone coverage to transmit data during the breeding season, but the transmitters continue to log locations. All of the breeding season data are downloaded once the Golden Eagle returns into cell phone range.

In 2018, the first bird to return for the winter was Sequatchie. Sequatchie spent the breeding season west of the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. He began his southbound journey on October 4, 2018. By mid-November, he was located near Gwinn State Forest in Michigan, and as of December 2018, he has returned to Tennessee. Sequatchie is an adult male that was banded at Prentice Cooper WMA on February 5, 2016. Sequatchie is expected to return to spend the winter at Prentice Cooper WMA after the long migration from his breeding area near Winnipeg, Canada (See map). Stay tuned for more updates of the eagles returning to Tennessee on Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife site.

View or download a photo-illustrated factsheet showing Sequatchie's migration route.

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