Posted by: Libby Mojica | October 16, 2009

Extended stay on Little Wicomico River: Oct 11-16

Hi Eagle Fans,

Azalea continues her stay on the Little Wicomico River in Northumberland County, VA MD. Here’s a link to a photo of the river’s habitat. The upper section of the river has several large forested tracts which provide Azalea (and other eagles) perches and safe roosting habitat. The nearby houses, boat docks, and subdivisions appear far enough away that they are probably not disturbing her behavior. She was raised in a very public setting at the botanical gardens so she’s likely adapted some low-level of tolerance to being around human activities.

We’ve received fewer hourly GPS locations from Azalea this week because of the heavy cloud cover and rainy weather. This weather reduces the amount of light available to the solar arrays on the transmitter. It’s a temporary problem and will self-correct by early next week when this noreaster storm clears Virginia.

The white dot on the map represents her most recent location. The red dots are the hourly locations from Oct 11-Oct 16. The orange lines connect those dots and follow her tracks through time.

Our knowledge of post-dispersal eagle behavior has been gathered from 18 eagles fitted with transmitters as nestlings in the Chesapeake Bay. From this tracking data, we know these young eagles continue to return to the nest throughout the year. These visits can be weeks or months apart. It’s impossible to guess if and when Azalea will return to her natal area at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The resident adults (her parents) would allow her to return to their nesting territory as long as she has juvenile or sub-adult plumage (brown or brown and white feathers). We don’t know how eagles recognize one another, so I can’t comment on whether her parents would know she was from their brood.


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Thanks Libby. That’s great information and the additional picture helps us to understand her surroundings. I thought Northumberland County was in Virginia?

Wow…she has sure found a lovely environment for her new home, even if it is temporary.

It will be very interesting to watch her movements and correspond them to possible visual sightings at NBG if she does return to that area. What a coup if one of the photgraphers got a picture of her return πŸ™‚

Thanks Libby

thanks libby for the information about our girl.i’m glad she is fine.i have been thinking about her alot since we have this weather.i would be very nice like annsva said if we were able to get a picture of her if she does come home.god bless az.thanks again libby for all the up-dates.

very interesting about the offspring returning to the nest area. near the end of hornby island season, this year, a 4 year old near adult returned to the nest area and was allowed by the adult female to remain in the area. they even perched in the same tree. longtime hornby observer, doug carrick, thought the sub adult to be from the 2005 brood.

thanks for the info. the more we learn the more we realize we just don’t have a clue in some cases. πŸ™‚

I would like to live there too. I am fairly newbie. It was fascinating watching the babies grow and now keeping an eye on Azalea has been a wonderful experience. I have learned so much from you and everyone connected with the Eaglecam. Thank you so very much for everything you do.

thanks libby,the area that Azalea is in looks beautiful and in a way safe.It would be nice to see
her return captured on a photo. My Eagles also are use to people area which amazes me. A small park with a pond some trees surrounded by homes and smack in the middle of these trees is the nest.I love them,but like everyone here we are lovers of eagles and nature. Right now the nestorations are still going on and by the end of
Nov the female will be sitting on the nest.
We have many lakes in our area so there is plenty of fish for everybody. I hope you don’t mind my sharing the story of our resident Eagles.
I consider it a privilege that we are graced with their presence. I feel the same way about our being able to view a nest in the wild at NBG.

One again, thank you so much for the updates. It is so fascinating.

Last winter I watched 2 mature eagles interact with 3 juveniles of different coloration, I guess ages, along the James in Richmond. They allowed them to perch in the same tree with them and they caught fish and left them on rocks for the young ones to eat. The adults would sit in trees nearby and watch over the juveniles as they ate. I even saw them share a dead goose.

I live about a mile from the Wildlife Center of Virginia and am honored to be able to know the wonderful doctors and staff that take care of the baby eagle that was removed from the nest summer before last because of avian pox. I was even able to visit with him last week, and he looked very happy and peaceful. I’m sure he’d rather be flying wild, but that just wasn’t meant to be. He’s a favorite with everyone at the Center, and even seemed to show off for me and the other visitors.
Thank you, Libby for keeping this update alive. I’ll forward the web address on to my friends.

Cindy – That’s so great that you are close to Buddy and can see him whenever you want. I’m so jealous!!! Whenever you get to visit him, we would all love it if you took pictures and posted them on the Norfolk eagles forum at
In fact, please join us at the forum any time! That’s where we have discussions about eagles and everything else and post pics too.

Thanks Libby for the information. It’s greatly appreciated as we all learn about Azalea and eagles in general. I’m sure you will continue to keep up posted!

Thanks for this wonderful picture where our beautiful Azalea is living. It helps to put it together in my mind with the pictures from satillite tracking. It looks like a beautiful place to live.

Thanks so much for keeping us updated. I sincerely appreciate it.

Is November when the eagles start a whole new brood for the following year?? When will the camera be back on for viewers?

Eagles in Virginia begin incubating in late January through February. I’m not sure when the camera is expected to be online. Reese will be back tomorrow and can share any information he has on the camera.