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Bald Eagle Camellia visits Currituck County

John H Snowden, III
photo by Duane Noblick

One of several Bald Eagles fitted with a satellite tracking device has recently visited Currituck County, according to The Center for Conservation Biology, located in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Juvenile Bald Eagle - Camellia

According to the website EagleTrak, Camellia – a 3 year old juvenile male Bald Eagle – spent several days in the vicinity of the community of Maple.

Satellite telemetry from Camellia’s tracking harness indicates that his journey began at approximately 7 am on Thursday, January 24, near the Pocatay River, a tributary of the North Landing River in Virginia Beach. By 9 am of the same day, telemetry indicates that Camellia had flown to a point just east of the community of Shawboro – a distance of approximately 18 miles.

Data received from the tracking collar at 1 am on the morning of Friday, January 25 indicate that Camellia was in the Great Swamp, in the vicinity of Shortcut Road (US 158) – slightly south and west of Maple.

During the day of Friday, January 25, telemetry indicates that Camellia flew northeast toward Coinjock Bay and around the Maple area, finally coming to rest in the Great Swamp area between Maple and Shawboro on the evening of Friday, January 25 – Saturday, January 26.

Telemetry also indicates that Camellia spent the day of Saturday, January 26 flying in the vicinity of Currituck Regional Airport and Maple. The final telemetry presented on the site, shows Camellia once again located in the Great Swamp area, between Maple and Shawboro at 7 am Sunday, January 27.

According to the The Center for Conservation Biology website, Camellia was the oldest of three young eagles fledged from the Bald Eagle nest at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in spring 2010.

In May 2009, a young Bald Eagle, named Azalea, was fitted with a tracking device to allow researchers at The Center for Conservation Biology to follow its movements after fledging the nest. Azalea was also hatched at a nest in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and was the first eagle from the Hampton Roads, Virginia region fitted with a tracking device.

Objectives in following the Norfolk Botanical Garden eagles are:

  • To follow the movements of juvenile Bald Eagles after fledging from their nest at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens
  • To provide an educational tool for learning about bird migration and eagle ecology in the Chesapeake Bay
  • To learn about foraging and roosting behaviors of Bald Eagles in the Chesapeake Bay

The eagles wear a 70g solar powered GPS-PTT satellite transmitter attached with a backpack style Teflon harness. The solar panels recharge the transmitter’s battery and are expected to provide 3 years of tracking data from each eagle.

Visit the EagleTrak blog http://eagletrak.blogs.wm.edu/ for more information.

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