On September 21, 2015, a young female Bald Eagle was released in Westmoreland County, Virginia, near the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. The hatch-year eagle was rescued from Smarts Creek in June 2015. 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 #15-1348 – the 1,348th patient admitted to the Center in 2015. Now, the eagle will be known as GW91. “GW” represents George Washington National Birthplace Monument, near 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.
November 18 update: During the week of November 9, the Wildlife Center staff noted that GW91 was checking in regularly from one very localized spot in Sussex County, Virginia. The bird had been exploring this area in late October, but the bird’s movement appeared to be more confined in November. The Center reached out to a permitted rehabilitator in the area to see if she would be able to visit the last location of the bird to check for signs of trouble. Sadly, the rehabilitator found the bird dead.
The eagle was returned to the Wildlife Center for an examination on November 14. The eagle was heavily scavenged and the vets estimate that the bird had been dead for several days before it was picked up on November 13. Unfortunately, not enough tissue remained to test for toxins. The veterinary staff found no fractures on the bird, but otherwise it is not possible to determine the cause of death.
October 26: Bald Eagle GW91 hasn’t traveled far from her last check-in and continues to explore the area around Harrell Pond.
October 21: Today marks the one-month anniversary of Bald Eagle GW91’s release! Since her release on September 21, the Bald Eagle has flow approximately 42 miles south and is currently exploring a large pond near Cohoke, Virginia.