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.
January 28: MN72 has been showing some unexpected movements during the past few weeks! After he flew southwest from Indian Head, Maryland and crossed the Potomac River into Virginia, he continued moving inland for about 30 miles. When he reached central Spotsylvania County, he abruptly turned around and flew back to his most recently known position near the King George Landfill in Johnsons Corner, Virginia.
March 17: Bald Eagle MN72 has continued to fly some impressive distances during the past month. In his previous update, tracking data showed him moving into northern Virginia from Maryland somewhat unexpectedly. Examining his flight patterns during the past few weeks shows that he's repeated this trip several times -- flying distances of up to 20-30 miles in-between the times when his GPS unit communicates with the online servers.
May 5: Bald Eagle MN72 spent the recent weeks moving between the areas surrounding Indian Head, Maryland and Spotsylvania, Virginia. He appears to be repeatedly visiting a site roughly 30 miles inland from the Potomac River, spending some time there, and turning back toward the water. A closer examination of the satellite imagery reveals this site to be a solid waste disposal facility in close proximity to Flythe Pond – a 15-acre body of freshwater that may be providing MN72 with suitable habitat and food resources.
June 8: During the past month, MN72 has shown some similar flight patterns and movements compared to his most recent update. After leaving the shoreline of the Potomac River near Indian Head, Maryland, MN72 flew about 44 miles southwest toward Spotsylvania, Virginia. After reaching the same waste disposal site and spending a few days there, he turned around and flew back to Indian Head, travelling along the western bank of the Potomac, and finally reaching his current location.
June 29: MN72 has an exciting update! Starting in 2018, MN72 has left the Mid-Atlantic -- always during the month of June -- and flown hundreds of miles north to Quebec. After spending the summer months on the Saint-François River, he returns to the Chesapeake Bay until the following summer. It's not certain that his current movements are following this same pattern, but his tracking data suggests that this might be the case.
MN72 left the Indian Head, Maryland area sometime between June 8 and June 9. By June 14, he had flown north past Baltimore and had entered Pennsylvania. Continuing northeast, he crossed into southern New York on June 18. Briefly flying through Massachusetts the next day, MN72 officially crossed the border into Canada on the 21st. Several days later, he turned southeast and entered Maine. Currently, he appears to be turning northward again. In total, he's covered more than 550 miles during the past 21 days.
July 13: Following a short lapse in data transmission from June 29 to July 6, MN72's transmitter has come back online and shows that he didn't stay in Maine for very long. During the past two weeks, he began his travels by flying west and re-entering Quebec at approximately 6:00 p.m. on July 5. The following day, he made an abrupt northerly turn (possibly following the contours of the Canard River) and spent several days flying back and forth over the city of Disraeli. By July 10, he was headed west once more. After covering roughly 84 miles, he seems to have made another change in direction based on an encounter with a significant water feature -- the Richelieu River. Continuing northward, MN72 arrived at a familiar location on July 11 at around 4:00 p.m.
After flying more than 600 miles in less than one month (and making an unexpected detour into Maine), Bald Eagle MN72 has settled into a forested shoreline where the Saint-François and St Lawrence Rivers meet -- the precise location where he's spent the summer months each year from 2018 onward. Based on his history, it's likely that MN72 will remain in a small area during the coming months, and we'll be keeping a close eye on his tracking data throughout this time.
July 21: During the past week, MN72 has been flying throughout a very small area compared to his recent travels. After spending a few days in what looks to be a forested patch of shoreline, he flew west while following the contours of the Saint-François River for about two miles. Soon after, he returned to the same shoreline, flying over an agricultural area rather than following the river. A closer inspection of the satellite imagery suggests there may be an unpaved road near his current location. Otherwise, the closest area with an obvious human presence is Pierreville, QC -- a small municipality with a population of 2,176, according to the Canada 2011 Census.
August 30: MN72 can be seen flying throughout slightly larger area during the past month compared to his previous update. While he seems to still be spending the majority of his time on the water’s edge where the Saint Lawrence and Saint-François Rivers converge, he’s also made a few trips farther inland. In total, he’s been flying throughout an area that’s roughly four miles in diameter. In past years, MN72 began flying south toward the United States in mid-September. It’s unknown whether or not he’ll make the same movements this year, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on his tracking data in the meantime.
September 28: During the past four weeks, MN72 hasn’t moved very far away from the Saint-François River tributary where he’s known to spend the summer months. Interestingly, though, he can be seen completing a 40-mile round-trip flight. After moving east along the Saint-François, he turned north and meandered back to his normal area over the course of a few days. During 2020, he began the long journey back to Virginia in early October. We’ll be checking his tracking data closely during the coming weeks!
October 5: It appears that MN72 may have begun his journey back to the United States slightly ahead of schedule, according to his tracking data during the past week! On September 29, he began moving south, leaving the Saint-François River behind and flying approximately 35 miles towards Saint-Pie -- a city in the Montérégie region of southwest Quebec. He’s spent the past five days in the same area. Based on the satellite imagery, the city is located on the Black River with abundant agricultural areas nearby.
October 20: Bald Eagle MN72 has officially returned to the United States! On October 17, he crossed the border into Vermont near the small town of Berkshire after flying about 40 miles from the site of his last update. Continuing about 27 miles southward over large agricultural areas, he began flying west after reaching the Lamoille River. Turning southward once again, he’s flown about 36 miles during the past two days.
October 26: MN72 continues to fly south, and has covered nearly 150 miles during the past six days. On October 23, he left Vermont behind and entered western New York at about 4:00 p.m. Whether it was an intentional decision or not is unknown, but MN72 seems to have avoided the populous city of Albany on his journey south. His most recent location looks to be near Bovina Center, a small town nestled on the Little Delaware River.
November 3: During the past eight days, MN72 has been racking up the miles on his journey south! Entering northeastern Pennsylvania on October 28, he flew more than 150 miles during the next four days. Leaving the Keystone State behind, he crossed into Maryland on November 1. Most recently, his location was recorded as being near a small inlet of the Gunpowder River, about 13 miles northeast of Baltimore. Historically, MN72 has spent his months in the United States near Indian Head, Maryland, south of Baltimore.
November 15: During the past week, MN72 seems to have completed his seasonal journey home – on November 6, his GPS transmitter showed that he had arrived in Indian Head, Maryland! While the exact cause is unknown, a gap in the records of his precise coordinates exist between November 3 and November 5. It’s possible that he flew outside of the cellular range required for the tracking unit to communicate with the online servers. Despite flying more than 500 miles from Canada to Virginia during the past two months, MN72 has continued to move through new areas. During the past week, he flew about 40 miles southwest into Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia. On November 14, he arrived at his most-recent location -- Mason Neck State Park, the site of his release back into the wild in 2017.
December 10: During the past few weeks, Bald Eagle MN72 has been moving throughout some new areas in comparison to his recent updates. He can be seen flying overhead Indian Head, Maryland as anticipated, but was also tracked making flights across the two-mile-wide Potomac River on several occasions. On November 27, he began flying southward, arriving in King George, Virginia, that same day. A cluster of data points near what appears to be a waste-management facility can be observed during his movements to the southwest, ending at his most recent location near Lake Anna State Park – the site where a former Bald Eagle patient was released back into the wild in September 2021.
December 22: Compared to his previous update, MN72 appears to be following a similar pattern of movements and has extended the range of areas he’s visited. Starting near Glenora, VA, MN72 began traveling northeast and crossed the Potomac River into Maryland on December 13. Continuing in a clockwise direction, he flew north for about 12 miles until he reached Piscataway Park – a recreational area managed by the National Park Service. On December 15, he began to fly southward and crossed the Potomac once more into Virginia. Five days later, he had returned to the Gelnora area and seems to be spending time in a rural undeveloped area.