Tracking Bald Eagle YR73: 2015

Bald Eagle YR73 PortraitBald Eagle #15-1667 [YR73], an adult female, was admitted to the Wildlife Center in July 2015 after she was found on the ground and unable to fly near Newport News, Virginia. After one and a half months of rehabilitation, the eagle was released at York River State Park in Williamsburg, Virginia on September 10.

Center staff were only able to track the travels of YR73 for about one month, from the date of her release to September 25, 2015 when her movements appeared to stop. Additional investigations by Wildlife Center staff and Virginia Department of Natural Resources biologists — including an extensive ground search near the area of YR73's last transmission — proved inconclusive. Based on the bird's last-known location, it's possible the area did not provide adequate cellular service for the device to function, or the eagle may have died due to unknown circumstances.


Following her release, YR73 immediately crossed the one-mile-wide York River and flew east. After spending several days near Beaverdam Lake, she flew southwest, checking in on September 18 less than two miles from her initial rescue site in Newport News. YR73 was seen exploring Mulberry Island near the mouth of Warwick River for a short amount of time before her GPS tracking unit began to malfunction. While the transmitter data indicated that the bird was making small movements, data uploads became increasingly interspersed and eventually, the transmitter fell silent. Ultimately, YR73's tracking unit made its last transmission on September 25, 2015.