On August 19, 2017, a hatch-year male Bald Eagle was released at Mason Neck State Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. The eagle was rescued in Alexandria in May 2017. 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 #17-1181 – the 1,181st patient admitted to the Center in 2017. Now, the eagle will be known as MN72. “MN” represents Mason Neck, 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.
January 6: MN72 spent the past few weeks flying throughout his expected ranges, moving across the Potomac River a number of times. According to his tracking data, MN72 spent New Year's Eve in a rural area about three and a half miles west of the Potomac within Charles County, Maryland. The square icon seen on the satellite imagery shows where MN72 was on December 31 at 11:06 p.m.
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.
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.