Hi Eagle Fans,
Azalea continues her stay on the Little Wicomico River in Northumberland County, VA
MD. Here’s a link to a photo of the river’s habitat. The upper section of the river has several large forested tracts which provide Azalea (and other eagles) perches and safe roosting habitat. The nearby houses, boat docks, and subdivisions appear far enough away that they are probably not disturbing her behavior. She was raised in a very public setting at the botanical gardens so she’s likely adapted some low-level of tolerance to being around human activities.
We’ve received fewer hourly GPS locations from Azalea this week because of the heavy cloud cover and rainy weather. This weather reduces the amount of light available to the solar arrays on the transmitter. It’s a temporary problem and will self-correct by early next week when this noreaster storm clears Virginia.
The white dot on the map represents her most recent location. The red dots are the hourly locations from Oct 11-Oct 16. The orange lines connect those dots and follow her tracks through time.
Our knowledge of post-dispersal eagle behavior has been gathered from 18 eagles fitted with transmitters as nestlings in the Chesapeake Bay. From this tracking data, we know these young eagles continue to return to the nest throughout the year. These visits can be weeks or months apart. It’s impossible to guess if and when Azalea will return to her natal area at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The resident adults (her parents) would allow her to return to their nesting territory as long as she has juvenile or sub-adult plumage (brown or brown and white feathers). We don’t know how eagles recognize one another, so I can’t comment on whether her parents would know she was from their brood.