It appears that the satellite transmitter that Camellia is wearing has sent its final signal. A combination of factors has contributed to the failure of the solar battery to charge sufficiently to transmit a signal. (1) The solar battery has an average life of three years. The battery in Camellia’s transmitter was activated on May 5, 2010, the day he was fitted with the transmitter. The transmitter was active for more that 4 years and 8 months. (2) During the winter months the days are shorter and thus there is less sunlight to charge the solar battery. And (3) for the past three months there has been an unusual amount of cloudy weather (like today).
Here are some facts about Camellia:
Egg laid in nest at Norfolk Botanical Garden January 31, 2010
Hatched March 11, 2010
Banded March 31, 2010
Transmitter fitted May 5, 2010
Fledged May 27, 2010
Distance flown through December 28, 2014 – 12,569 km or about 7,670 miles
Farthest flight north – the Potomac River
Farthest flight south – Currituck County, NC
The last signal received was on December 31, 2014 at Noon in Chesapeake south of Military Highway (Rt13) near Colony Manor – PURPLE pin.
Camellia on March 31, 2010 on day banded as Purple NC – USGS band # 0679-01370, and on May 5, 2010 with transmitter. Photos by Reese F Lukei Jr.
Camellia in flight on June 2, 2010 after fledging at Norfolk Botanical Garden. Photo by Michele Fowler.
Photo of Camellia in Virginia Beach on August 8, 2013 by Jim Yanello.
Thanks Reese for the update and the great job you have done and continue to do tracking these beautiful eagles. It was so exciting every time we located and photographed Camellia. Most of the time when we got an update from you showing Camellia close by, we dropped what we were doing and headed out to try to locate him. We generally were very successful. Rest assured we will continue to look for him in case he settles down this year in our area. Sooner or later, he will be found!
Response – When we (CCB, VADGIF, NBG, WVEC) began this project to study the eagles in south Tidewater in 2003, little did we know what an influence it would have on the lives of the many people who have followed the daily activities of these creatures. Never did we expect that the contributions of the public, especially the many dedicated photographers, would add in such a significant way to our knowledge about these birds. What an incredible journey!
Godspeed, Camellia. It has been an incredible journey for us on the ground. And we will be keeping a watchful and loving eye for you and your lucky mate!
Thank you for the update and all of the great work you do! I was hoping we could see where Camellia settled down to nest but I guess that will remain a mystery. We know so much more than we ever could have imagined already.
Hello Mr Lukei, not sure if I remember correctly, when the transmitter will fall off his body…I watched the banding of Camellia. And of course his naming, which was thought he to be a female. lol I believe the transmitter was to biodegrade after 4 yrs. Please give an update as to when that might happen. Thank you for all you do for the Eagles…
Jo Peterson aka Jorgey
Response – Hi Jorgey – You are right. The straps that hold the transmitter on are made of teflon and will eventually wear out and the transmitter will fall off Camellia. That is what happened to “KE” April 10, 2014 when the transmitter fell off in a farm field in Surry County, VA. CCB was able to recover the transmitter because it was still sending a signal. The transmitter can be used again after it is rebuilt with a new solar battery.
May you live a long and productive eagle life, Cam! Say “Hi!” to ND and NE for us if you see them. We’ve enjoyed following you since you hatched on March 11…nearly 5 years ago! Reese, thanks to you and CCB for the updates and giving us new eagles to follow each year.
As usual, even this last update is so very informative. Thanks Reese for helping us understand the world of eagles and thanks photographers for showing it to us. Take care of yourself Camellia and show yourself to Jim when you settle down.
Glad the boy didn’t freeze in the egg.
Stay healthy and free, NC. You will always hold a special place for me. Too much to go into.
Thanks for the effort, Reese.
Camellia, thank you for sharing your eagle world. Happy flights and good fishing!
Thanks so much for the update. Will miss “checking in” to see where Camellia is hanging out. Thanks, Mr Lukei, for all your dedication and hard work.
Thank you Reese for your post…I knew this was going to happen ..like Azalea I will miss not knowing what he has been up to..But with so many eye’s watching ..maybe Cam someone will catch a photo of you and Azalea too
What a wonderful journey we’ve been on with all of the NBG babies. The opportunity to peek into their lives and be blessed by this beautiful creation God made has been so incredible.
Thank you Mr. Lukei for keeping us informed and for all of the wonderful photographers who give us a glimpse every now and then.
I’m glad we still have Grace to follow especially since she seems to like the same places as Azalea. I would love to see Azalea and know where she is now if any of you find her.
To Reese and everyone at CCB, it’s been educational following along with Camellia’s journey. I never got to see him, but it was fun to try to find him when he was near me. I hope he chooses a nice nest site like his brother HK. Thanks again, Reese.
Hi Peggy – HK is the brother of Azalea who was banded HH. Same parents, different generation, so definitely related. Hmmm!
Farewell Camellia. Hopefully your fans will spot you again as you settle into your adult life. Thanks Reese for your enthusiastic reporting of his adventures.
Farewell Camellia. What fun our journey has been. Thanks to all involved. Reese, I know you will keep us posted if you hear anything.
Many thanks for the update on Camellia–I certainly enjoyed following his travels around the area and appreciate all that you have done as well as the photographers in keeping us up to date on his travels. Even though I am not native to the area, I have traveled around the area quite a bit so could figure out where he was most of the time.
Look forward to following Grace and any others that might get transmitters in the near future.
It has been an adventure following Camellia’s travels as well as the adventures of his *trackers*. Great fun and a learning experience as well. Godspeed Camellia.
I’m going to miss the updates on Camellia. Hopefully he will be spotted by our fantastic eagle photographers, building a nest like our beloved HK. Thanks so much for all the updates on this beautiful bird.
Cam, I am so glad you have taken care of yourself over these 5 years. You have proven yourself a strong savvy eagle, adapting well to a strange and stressful world as an urban eagle. Thanks for heading to Lake Anna (on your maiden journey) and prompting me to begin our eagle tracking adventures. I know we will be seeing you again! Big shout of thanks to you local folks for keeping up with him. Reese, thanks! No one does it better!!
Well, we knew this day would come, as as the days passed, we knew it had to be drawing closer. I watched Camellia’s egg laid, watched him hatch, still well remember the day he and his siblings were banded, saw him fledge, signed up as an adopter. Its been wonderful following him. Like other posters, I was hoping for just a bit more battery life so we could see him take a mate and settle down, but I’m still grateful for being able to follow him this long. Fly free, mate well, and have a wonderful life, Cammy – I’ll miss you.
Response – It appears that on Feb 13 the transmitter sent a weak signal but not strong enough to get GPS data. Good sign that the transmitter is still working. Need lots of sunlight.
Very happy to see your response above Reese! Crossing fingers and toes that it isn’t quite over yet!! Meanwhile, Cam, take care in the frozen weather/ waters… Be real careful.