On October 16, 2015, a young female Bald Eagle was released at Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Huddleston, Virginia. The hatch-year eagle was rescued from Westlake Country Club at Smith Mountain Lake 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 #15-1261 – the 1,261st patient admitted to the Center in 2015. Now, the eagle will be known as SML52. “SML” represents Smith Mountain Lake, where the eagle was rescued and 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 23: SML52 spent most of the last week around Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake, until she decided to leave the state on May 22! In one day, the eagle flew about 68 miles south into North Carolina. As of today's check-in, the bird was about nine miles west of Asheboro, NC.
May 17: During the past four days, SML52 took a trip north through Bedford, Botetourt, and Amherst Counties. On May 16, the eagle started to head south again and flew directly over Bedford. At today's check-in, the bird was near a field about eight miles north of Smith Mountain Lake.
May 13: SML52 is still hanging around the eastern end of Smith Mountain Lake, covering an area of about six miles.