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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field
Harpy Eagle Release Update—May 2009
José de Jesús Vargas González — in Harpy Eagle Conservation and Research    ShareI was with the technicians in Darien on Sunday 24 May and Monday 25 May, organizing KC’s monitoring schedule. We also obtained and revised the data already collected from the wild juveniles.

An interesting observation was collected on 22 May. The technicians documented an interaction between KC and a wild male Harpy Eagle. Around 4:15 pm, the technicians heard another Harpy and then heard KC call back in response. A few minutes later, a wild male came close and perched in the same tree where KC was located (approximately 20 meters from her). Both eagles were still vocalizing for a few minutes, and then, when KC tried to come closer, the wild male flew away with KC immediately following him. The technicians found both birds in the same tree. They were calm and observing each other as well vocalizing. At 5:15 pm the technicians finished the observations, and both birds were left while still together.

The next day, the technicians could not find the wild male. KC was observed alone, looking interested in potential prey (howler monkeys).

The technicians did not see any aggressive actions between the two Harpy Eagles. This interaction was the first for KC with another Harpy Eagle since she was released. We cannot secure that this male is our “target bird” from the nest of La Guagara. We do believe it is a good start, as well a fine observation. Both birds were interested in the other, and to interpret their behaviors as aggression, territory defense, courtship, or other is imprecise. We are alert and taking close care of KC, waiting for new approaches with this wild male or another.

KC is still using good quality, mature forests and she is hunting without problems. We are continuing to broadcast radio messages daily on the local radio station to inform the people of the local communities about KC and our project there.

2 June 2009: Jose Vargas reports....

The last Friday 29 of May, our field technician Mr. Ismare called me to report that KC was found with a wild male Harpy Eagle that afternoon, from 12:35 to 5:20 p.m. They found both birds perched together in the same tree (approximately 20 meters high and 40 meters apart). During this period of time, the eagles spent hours observing each other, and some time vocalizing. The next day, they did not see the “unknown” male Harpy Eagle around the area where KC was located. Again, they did not record any aggression between the birds. A good sign…!

The distance from the first interactions to the second is around 3 kilometers. We are trying, without much success, to identify from morphology patterns such as “scale” on the feet, scars on the legs or beak, or odd feathers, whether this last male is the same one from the first observation. We are working on this.

KC is very well. She is hunting successfully. Also, the technicians told me that the color of the legs of KC are very yellow now, which is a good sign that she is hunting successfully and feeding regularly. This is the latest news of our female Harpy Eagle KC.

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