On December 22, 2015, a young female Bald Eagle was released at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia. The young eagle was rescued from Keswick, Virginia in September 2015; the bird suffered from a deep laceration on the backside of the bird’s right hock. Read more about the eagle’s history and rehabilitation here. Prior to release, the eagle was fitted with a GPS transmitter.
At the Center, the eagle was known as #15-2090– the 2,090th patient admitted to the Center in 2015. Now, the eagle will be known as BP39. “BP” represents Berkeley Plantation, where the eagle was released. The numbers are the last two digits on the transmitter that the eagle is wearing. Each transmitter has a five-digit number written on the side of it in permanent black marker so that the eagle could possibly be identified at a distance.
May 2017 update: BP39 hasn't checked in since December 2016. Unfortunately, we're not sure why there have been no more check-ins; in December, the bird appeared to be flying normally and wasn't in a particularly concerning location. The bird may check in again, though could also have an issue with the transmitter.
December 21: Tomorrow marks the one-year release anniversary of BP39!
Following her rescue and rehabilitation last fall, the hatch-year bird was released at Berkeley Plantation in December 2015. The young bird spent the winter exploring the James River and the Middle Peninsula of Virginia, before slowly working her way north at the end of March 2016.
In early April the eagle flew to Maryland, and, in May, worked her way through Delaware and New Jersey. The bird didn't transmit any data for two weeks (likely due to spotty cell phone reception) and in early June, showed up in Canada! It appeared as though the eagle had steadily worked her way through New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, before she finally checked in from New Brunswick.
The bird spent a little more than a month in New Brunswick, reporting in from Oram Lake before moving toward the Bay of Fundy. In mid-July, the eagle moved back to the United States, checking in from Maine. In August, the bird moved south, following nearly the same path she took to Canada.
After spending time at the Chesapeake Bay in October, the young eagle -- now a second-year bird -- flew back to the central part of Virginia, along the James River. In December 2016 -- one year after her release -- she's spending time in the Buckingham and Albemarle County area, only about 20 miles from her 2015 rescue site.
December 11: BP39 checked in on December 11 after more than two-weeks of "radio silence". The eagle is still spending time near the James River, frequently crossing over the border between Buckingham County and Albemarle County. BP39 also checked in near Totier Creek Reservoir, just north of the James River in Albemarle County.
November 24: During the past few weeks, eagle BP39 has explored the area where Fluvanna County, Albemarle County, and Buckingham County converge. The eagle last checked in on November 24 near Scottsville, Virginia along the James River.