Posted by: rlukei | July 28, 2009

Satellite map July 20 to July 27

gemap20090728.jpgThis satellite map of data from the transmitter that Azalea is wearing shows that she has been getting a wider view of the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area surrounding NBG and the airport. The data point in the lower right of the map indicates that at 1pm on July 22 she was soaring directly above Lake Edwards off Newtown Road in Virginia Beach. The data point to the lower left on the map shows that she crossed Interstate 64 and at 1pm on July 25 was above Azalea Garden Road near Robin Hood Road in Norfolk. A reminder that the transmitter sends a signal once an hour and is like taking a photo at a specific time. It is quite likely that Azalea was soaring in a thermal and would have covered a wider area than what the data points indicate. Interestingly, on the 26th she was on camera all day either in the nest tree or the camera tree and did no soaring. On the 27th she spent most of the day at “the dump” where she was seen by NBG staff.

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Hi Reese,

What is a thermal?

Thank you 🙂

Mr. Lukei Thank you for answering my concerns about avian pox in the eaglets. I have a few questions.. does beak color and eye color all change when the eaglets get their mature white feathers? Can birds of prey get equine encephalitis ? What is founce? The 08 eagle is doing well eating and no beak trim this time around .. can he be released ? Can a transmitter be placed ?

@ Wild Irish: The Wikipedia article offers a comprehensive description & a good diagram of thermal air currents…

wild irish – cstar gives you a good reference. Thermals are created when the sun heats the ground unevenly and in turn the air above the ground warms and rises like a hot air balloon. Raptors such as eagles and hawks use them to soar because it takes less energy.

NC Patty – I am not a vet but I’ll take a shot at an answer. Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) does occur in birds but mostly horses. I do not know if any eagles have been found with EEE. I think you mean Frounce which is a name for Trichomoniasis. It is a disease (parasite found in the throat) that affects mostly doves and pigeons. However, because doves and pigeons are prime prey for falcons, hawks and eagles, these raptors are also susceptible to the disease.

NC Patty – Oops! – I forgot to answer your first question. The color of an eagles eyes and beak changes slowly over a period of five years as it matures into an adult. It is one way to help tell their age.

Hi Reese – it’s exciting that she feels comfortable leaving home but then re-appearing at the nest again. Wonder if the hot, still weather kept her grounded! As she gets older, how long will the adults tolerate her presence around the nest – in other words, when would they most likely run her off?

Hi Shelly – I think it is more likely that the urge for the adult to migrate or move to one of the concentration areas like on the James River will happen rather than Azalea being run off. I have a lot more experience with Osprey and I know that is what happens with them. The adults just stop bringing food to the nest and when that doesn’t work they just leave the Osprey chick on the nest and head south. If Azalea continues to stay put I believe that is what we will see the eagle adults do. We will know soon. Azalea fledged 6 1/2 weeks ago. BUT, after stating all that, suppose neither Azalea or the adult develops any desire to move on? Both could stay here for the rest of the summer!! Stay tuned. School is still in session, and we are all still learning.

That would be wonderful if Azalea and parents stayed around. Altho our eaglets have long left the nest our adult eagles periodically are seen staying around our area. We have a huge lake and small ponds,so food is plentiful.It amazes me that eagles have a nest where we are.Its a small park with a pond surrounded by houses. The eagles don’t seem to mind the activities that go on during nesting season.Here again,so much of the habitat here in Fl is lost.I have a great respect for our Wildlife team,the biologists are very willing to check out any concerns we have about the eagles.I guess HK is no where around. I hope all keep safe and thrive.Thank you for keeping us so well informed. I appreciate all who give so much caring about our Wildlife.

“School is still in session, and we are all still learning”

Thats what has been so exciting about watching this pair the past few years …just when I think I’ve learned a bit, I just end up with more questions . We don’t have a reference for last year but I was wondering how this year compares with the 2007 eaglets leaving the nest area.

Pretty interesting on where the birds (I am not going to say just eagles) migrate from someone that I asked earlier. I have a question for the Norfolk eagles for the last 4 to 5 years. In your experience with them, have the norfolk parents been in the same area all year round?

2007 NBG eaglet data
In 2007 3 eagle chicks fledged . I had to do some looking back, and this is what my records show
Eggs layed – 1/31 – 2/3 – 2/7
Hatched – 3/10 – 3/12 – 3/15
Fledged – 6/1 – 6/1 – 6/2
Last seen – The last web cam photos were on 7/18. All 3 eaglets were seen at Little Creek reservoir and Lake Smith in Virginia Beach about a mile from NBG.

Eagle Eye – The adults last season were seen off and on throughout the year, but there were periods when they would not be observed for a couple weeks. Without any way to actually track their travels, we can only assume they left the area during those times. It would not be unusual for an eagle to fly over 100 miles in a day. A number of years ago I banded a red-tailed hawk at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR at 3pm and the next morning at 8am it was retrapped at Cape May, New Jersey. It had traveled over 300 air miles in just 17 hours.

Hi Reese. I’m wondering approximately how far from the nest those farthest points are? Thanks.

Chris – The runway at Norfolk International Airport is 9,000 feet long, or about 1.7 miles. Using that as a ruler the lower left data point is about 2 1/2 miles from the nest, and the lower right data point is about 3 1/2 miles from the nest.

Thank you for leaving the camera on. I love watching the eagles. question: Is Azalea the only young eagle still hanging around? Are her brother and sister still in the area?

Claudia – It appears that Azalea is the only one of the 3 eagle juveniles to still be at NBG. The male (HK) was last seen at NBG on Monday July 20 and the youngest female (HE) was last seen Monday July 27. One of the adults (female?) was at the nest this morning about 10:30. Azalea has been in the nest tree most of the day, but wandered off for a while this afternoon. After a drenching rain storm this afternoon, the air cleared enough to give us an opportunity to capture some good close ups of Azalea this evening. See photos on Norfolk Eagle Forum and Maine Forum.

This is not relate to any of this but I was unable to find your email to email you in answering to my question and post a new one on the difference of the eaglet’s or juvielle’s tail.
I have noticed that other eaglets has full brown tail and others has white tail with brown tips. What is the difference between them. Does that have something to do with their diet or does that runs in the family or the enviroment? Too many questions on that. 🙂

How long will we continue to get updates/posts from you about Azalea and HE & HK?

EagleEye – I will write a blog later today to answer your question about tail feather color.

Beth – The main purpose for the blog is to keep you and others updated about the wanderings of Azalea as we receive satellite data over the next 3 years. If we get sightings of HE and HK we will pass that information on at this blog site. This site will also be used to pass on other facts and data about eagles in Virginia.