Where was He: MN72 Archives 2019


January 8: MN72 flew a considerable distance during the past week and a half, covering more than 60 miles in total. After moving northward along the Potomac River early in the week, MN72 crossed the border into Virginia and cut inland, reaching the Lake Ridge area before turning back. Crossing the one mile-wide Potomac again, MN72 was last seen near the Pisgah, Maryland area.

January 17: MN72 seems to be falling into a regular routine of patrolling the same shoreline and inlets of the Potomac River near Nanjemoy, Maryland. He moved throughout an area roughly six miles in diameter during the past week.  

January 24: After traveling about ten miles north along the Potomac River, MN72 headed west and explored the Mason Neck, Virginia area for a few days. Crossing the Potomac again, MN72 was last spotted about two miles north of Bryans Rd, Maryland.

February 4: MN72 can be seen traveling a bit further than usual during the past week and a half. From the Indian Head, MD area, he flew about 20 miles southwest before circling Stafford, VA and returning to Mattawoman Creek. Later in the week, he flew north along the Potomac River and appears to have stopped at Piscataway Park in MD, an area managed by the National Park Service.

February 12: Clearly following the contours and curves of the Potomac River near Indian Head, MD, MN72 remained in a relatively smaller area during the past week. The eagle appears to currently be located on Mattawoman Creek, about five miles inland from the Potomac River.

February 19: During the past week MN72 stayed in an even smaller area compared to his previous update, about two miles in diameter. The epicenter of his movements -- and his most-recently known location – appears to be directly overhead a small man-made pond adjacent to an elementary school.

February 27: Similarly to last week’s update, MN72 seems to be repeatedly flying out and back from a central point near Pisgah, MD. The terrain and man-made infrastructure appears to be quite diverse in the area; suburbs, marshland, tidal creeks and agricultural fields likely provide MN72 with a variety of available food sources and suitable habitat.

March 12: From the Pisgah, MD area, MN72 can be seen flying out and back from a central point. Despite the high-level of movement, MN72 has remained in a relatively small area – about five miles in diameter.

March 22: No surprises from MN72 during the past 10 days; he flew up and down a 12-mile-long stretch of the Potomac River, regularly visiting the many small inlets and tidal creeks near Indian Head, MD.  

April 10: As expected, MN72 spent a majority of the past week and a half flying throughout the Hog Island, Maryland area; however, on April 7 he made an abrupt turn and traveled around 12 miles north in an uncharacteristically direct line of flight. MN72’s most-recent location seems to be in a forested area along the eastern bank of the Potomac River.  

April 23: MN72 spent the past week and a half flying in a relatively larger area compared to previous updates. While he can be seen patrolling the Potomac River throughout Maryland and Virginia as usual, he flew a little further inland toward the heavily urbanized and developed areas near Fort Belvoir and Lorton, Virginia. His most-recent location appears to be within Mason Neck, the site of his release in May of 2017.

May 2: After spending four or five days in the Mason Neck State Park, Virginia area, MN72 crossed the one and a half mile-wide Potomac River into Maryland. He appears to be spending more time along the river’s shoreline compared to last week, and can be seen most-recently on the outskirts of Indian Head.

May 13: MN72 can be seen moving throughout a relatively large area during the past week. After following the Potomac River’s eastern shoreline near Indian Head, Maryland, MN72 made a number of out-and-back trips across the water before continuing on to Mason Neck State Park, Virginia. Later in the week, he returned to Maryland, and can be seen most-recently about one mile northeast of Potomac Heights.

May 30: It’s likely that MN72’s GPS transmitter has reported a few inaccurate data points during the past week, resulting in the unrealistically  straight lines of travel that seem to abruptly end. Otherwise, MN72 can be seen completing his usual circuit around Indian Head, Maryland, weaving in and out of the many tidal creeks of the Potomac.

June 10: MN72 is still spending time throughout the Indian Head, Maryland area, and can be seen following the eastern shoreline of the Potomac River. In June 2018, he flew several hundred miles from this same area -- crossing into Canada -- where he spent the summer months before returning in October 2018. It’s unknown if MN72 will make the same journey this year, but we’ll be watching his tracking data closely during the coming weeks!

June 24: During this exact week in 2018, MN72 left Maryland and began a journey of more than 600 miles into Canada and back; early last week, he took off on what looks to be the same trip! After following the Chesapeake Bay to its northern terminus, MN72 flew through all of Pennsylvania in less than five days. On the day of this update, his most-recent location looks to be on the eastern shoreline of the Schoharie Reservoir in New York, about 60 miles west of Albany. In total, MN72 has flown almost 400 miles during the past week and a half. It’s unknown if he’ll return to the same area in Canada where he spent the summer months last year, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on his GPS tracking data to find out!

July 3: On June 27 at around 4:00 p.m., Bald Eagle MN72 officially crossed the border into Quebec, Canada! During the past few weeks this eagle has traveled more than 500 miles northward, and – incredibly – has settled on precisely the same shoreline of the Saint-François River where he spent time in 2018, as seen in this satellite image from MN72’s August 2018 update.    


July 11: Following his arrival to Saint Pierre Lake, Quebec, MN72 has spent the past week near the shallow cove he frequented in 2018. His GPS transmitter seems to be functioning well, and is communicating with servers several times each day.

July 25: It’s been another week on the bank of the Saint-François River in southern Quebec, Canada for MN72. He can be seen crisscrossing the narrow river dozens of times, and flew about two miles farther upriver compared to his previous update. A small cluster of buildings can be seen near this point on the satellite imagery; an internet search revealed these to be a part of Marina Mr. B, a facility equipped with boat ramps, docks, a restaurant, and camp sites. It’s possible people have seen MN72 flying nearby!

August 23: Similarly to previous updates, MN72 didn’t fly too far from his last-known location. After exploring about three miles of shoreline to the west of the Saint-François River, he turned back toward his familiar territory.

September 9: No surprises from MN72 during the past few weeks; he can be seen crossing the Saint-François River several times each day, staying within an area less than two miles in diameter. 

September 26: For the first time in several months, MN72 seems to be exploring some new areas along the shoreline of Lake Saint-Pierre! He flew about eight miles east, apparently spending several days within the Nicolet Bird Sanctuary – one of 28 migratory bird sanctuaries within the province of Quebec maintained by the Canadian Wildlife Service. His most-recent location looks to be within a privately-owned agricultural area.

October 7: Shortly after visiting the Nicolet Bird Sanctuary near Le Trou-d’Henri last week, MN72 flew about three miles southwest and returned to his usual spot at the mouth of the Saint-François River. While MN72’s tracking device transmits data on a relatively consistent basis, there are occasional gaps of up to 24 hours – which may explain the apparent one-way flight path to the southeast.

October 31: After spending four months along the shores of the Saint-François River in Quebec, MN72 left the area and began the long journey south! On October 10, he crossed the border and re-entered the US into Vermont. Eleven days later, he had covered about 240 miles and was tracked at the New York-Pennsylvania state line. By October 28, MN72 was flying through central Maryland, and as of this update he’s less than three miles from Indian Head, Maryland – the exact location he left in June! In total, MN72 has covered more than 550 miles in just a few short weeks. It’s unknown if he’ll remain near the Indian Head area throughout the winter, but we’ll keep a close eye on his tracking data to find out!

November 22: MN72 appears to have settled into the Indian Head, Maryland area during the past few weeks. He can be seen flying over both agricultural and suburban areas, taking different routes while exploring the five mile-wide area. MN72 also paid a brief visit to Mason Neck, Virginia – the site of his original release in May of 2017!

December 9: As expected, MN72 has been spending time near the Indian Creek, Maryland area along the Potomac River. However, a handful of data points from MN72’s tracking device – visible near Charlottesville, Virginia – are very likely inaccurate based on the unnaturally linear path of travel. It’s not exactly clear why these errors occur, but it appears MN72’s tracking unit quickly resumed functioning as normal soon after.

January 9: MN72 has spent that past month flying throughout the Indian Head, Maryland area, and seems to be making regular trips across the roughly one mile-wide Potomac River. Apart from Indian Head, MN72 spent the most amount of time flying through King George County, Virginia.