January 9: MN72 has spent that past month flying throughout the Indian Head, Maryland area, and seems to be making regular trips across the roughly one mile-wide Potomac River. Apart from Indian Head, MN72 spent the most amount of time flying through King George County, Virginia.
January 17: It’s been another week of patrolling the tidal creeks and rivers near Indian Head, MD for Bald Eagle MN72. He’s continued to fly in a roughly circular direction throughout the six mile-wide area, making plenty of stops over agricultural and rural areas. His most recent position appears to be on the edge of a small pond near a private residence.
January 28: In addition to flying his usual routes near Indian Head, MN72 visited Mason Neck State Park during the past week – the site of his release in August 2017! He didn’t remain in the area long, though; he crossed the Potomac and returned to Maryland within the same day.
February 13: MN72 spent most of his time during the past week moving throughout the Indian Head area. The dense concentration of movement seen near Marsh Island and Hog Island in the Potomac River might suggest the area is particularly rich in resources or safe perching locations.
February 21: MN72’s tracking unit has shown some interesting data during the past week! Early on, he circumnavigated the Indian Head, Maryland area as usual. Soon after, he began a one-way flight path to the west. Crossing the Potomac River and entering Virginia, he continued on for 15 miles and made a quick stop at Lunga Reservoir. Then, he flew about 30 miles south to his most recently known location near the center of Spotsylvania County.
March 5: It’s been another period of interesting tracking data from MN72, and he can be seen flying throughout some areas previously unvisited. From central Virginia, he flew almost 90 miles northeast to the Woodbridge area along the Potomac River. The straight line that can be seen paralleling his path could possibly represent a gap in data transmission, but most recently, he appears to have been spending time at a solid waste disposal station in Nelson County.
March 24: MN72 has covered quite a few miles since his previous update. From Nelson County, he flew about 100 miles back towards the Woodbridge area; soon after, he made the round trip once more. Most recently, he's been tracked in the Indian Head, Maryland area where he's known to spend time regularly.
May 26: MN72 has been checking in regularly throughout the past month, and was most-recently spotted near the Indian head, Maryland area as expected. He flew a considerable distance into Virginia on several occasions, spending time near several well-developed areas before crossing the Potomac River and settling near Indian Head again,
June 22: MN72 hasn't moved far from the areas where he was seen in his previous update, but we'll be keeping a close eye on his tracking data during the coming weeks. In 2019, MN72 flew from Maryland to Quebec, Canada in a matter of days, returning to Indian Head a number of months later. In 2018, he made a similar journey -- Maryland to Quebec and back again, after the summer months. Both years, MN72 left for Canada during the fourth week of June. It's unknown if he'll make a similar flight this year, but we'll be watching and updating his location with great interest!
July 23: MN72 has an exciting update! As anticipated, he appears to be heading directly north toward the same Canadian summering grounds he's traveled to each year since 2018. According to the available tracking data, he left the Indian Head, Maryland area sometime around July 2. On July 5, he had covered around 90 miles and crossed the state line into Pennsylvania. It took MN72 approximately ten days of flying to traverse the state, entering southern New York on July 12. Six days later, he had flown over the entire Adirondack Mountain range and appears to have stopped on the western shore of Lake Champlain for a short time.
An interesting data point would suggest that MN72 entered Vermont, but based on the near-perfect straight line of travel, it's more likely that this represents an error in the GPS tracking unit's data collection.
After flying more than 480 miles in less than two weeks, MN72 officially left the United States and entered Quebec, Canada on July 18 at approximately 4:00 PM! Since then, he's flown about 70 miles north to his current location: the precise and exact same shoreline of the Saint-François River in Quebec where he spent time in both 2018 and 2019.
In his coming updates, we'll take a closer look at the shoreline where he's currently located and compare the data to year's past -- a fascinating glimpse into the life of this wild Bald Eagle!
August 5: As anticipated, MN72 seems to have settled along the shoreline of the Saint-François River in an area where there are adequate resources -- food, water, and shelter. This zoomed-in view of the satellite imagery shows MN72 spends much of his time in an area with numerous trees. Additionally, several motorized watercraft can be seen.
August 13: MN72 hasn’t flown very far from his usual shoreline location during the past week; instead, this zoomed out view of the area shows the nearest highly populated areas. Sorel, Quebec, a riverside city of 35,000, can be seen about 10 miles southwest from MN72’s most recently known location. The city’s location marks the geographical endpoint of the Champlain Valley.
August 19: No surprises from MN72 during the past week. He’s been flying throughout the same small area along the shoreline of the Saint-François River. The area has apparently been having a decent amount of sunny weather recently, as MN72’s solar-powered GPS unit is connecting regularly and reliably each day.
August 28: It’s been another week on the Saint-François River for Bald Eagle MN72. He looks to have made a short flight to the west across the water, but quickly returned back to his usual area.
September 21: Bald Eagle MN72 looks to be exploring some new areas! After moving about five miles inland and returning to his usual perching area, he flew about nine miles north along the shoreline of the Saint-François River, stopping and spending time near a thicket of trees. He later flew about nine miles southeast, reaching his most recently-known location early this morning.
October 12: Bald Eagle MN72 took us by surprise this week! He began flying south -- leaving the Saint-François River in Quebec – around October 6, covering about 300 miles so far. During the past three years, he’s left Canada and eventually returned to Virginia near the end of October. It’s unclear what factors could have led to his earlier departure this year, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on his tracking unit during the coming weeks. His most recent location appears to be in southern New York, just a short distance from the Pennsylvania border.
October 29: Following 17 days of travel, MN72 is back in Maryland! Over the course of two weeks, MN72 has covered more than 250 miles. After flying in a relatively straight path north to south through eastern Pennysylvania, MN72 eventually returned to the familiar waterways of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Continuing to move southward along the western shore of the Chesapeake, he flew past Washington D.C. earlier this week. As of this update, he appears to be just a few miles away from Indian Head, Maryland on the Potomac River -- the site of his departure this past July.
December 9: MN72 appears to have settled in a familiar area in Maryland, in and around Indian Head along the Potomac River. The satellite imagery shows that MN72 regularly crosses the one mile-wide river on a consistent basis, touching down in Virginia before heading back to this centralized area. During November 2019, MN72 displayed a very similar pattern of long-distance travel, returning to this same area after spending the summer in Canada. If these patterns repeat themselves, MN72 may stay near Indian Head until the summer months of 2021, but we'll be watching his transmitter each week for any new updates.