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Nixy's Travels, Tracking an eagle called NX
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Nixy's Travels, Tracking an eagle called NX  Reply with quote


See my pretty wings!  You cant get me!  haha!  I am too high for you!  Get a ladder, lady!

Dr. Miranda who catches up the eagles tried to catch Nixy July 27th.
The swing perch was considerably higher than Dr. Miranda is tall.  
It was quite funny to watch!  we affectionately call her Dr. Mirwrangler.

Nixy's Travels, Tracking an eagle called NX
August  2, 2011

Tracking an eaglet called NX
NX 'Nixy' was hatched in April 2011 at Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Virginia,
Called the Garden of Eagles.  She was one of 3 babies.

I will be tracking NX who I affectionally called Nixy when she is released, probably the week of August 15th.  Date NOT set yet.
Nixy is one of the Norfolk Botanical Garden  (NBG)  eaglets which was raised at the  Wildlife Center of Virginia.
We watched the parent eagles lay three eggs, watched on live cam as they hatched and grew.

For more on the entire story, see Epitaph for an Eagle
I started that blog out of sadness when Nixy's mother was killed.
Its my opinons and reactions as I watched WVEC eaglecam and moderated blog.
Along the way I posted a lot of links to other people's blogs, and a couple posts about other eagles.

Epitaph for an Eagle


Quintuple Eagle Release

Release Day    July 27, 2011   Wednesday

5 eagles from WCV were released to the wild.
4 flew off free, but Nixy wasnt ready so was returned to WCV for another couple weeks.
At least 2 veteranarians and DGIF made the decision Nixy needed to be caught and returned.
The transmitter did NOT bother her at all.  That was NOT the problem on release day.

Release of eagles videos and photos

5 eagles released to the wild yesterday - 3 flew free for the first time.
However, one of the 3 was too tired and had to be taken 'home' another couple weeks.


Wildlife Center of Virginia photos

Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Release Photos

July 27th, her first release day, Nixy kissed (bit) 3 people.
It took awhile to fit Nixy with a tiny transmitter.
Her handler said she is a VERY STRONG EAGLE.
When Ed Clark was asked how many she bit, he replied - everyone she could!
Nixy is NOT tracked with Camilla and Azalea, her siblings from previoius years.

Nixy   Back to WCV

Outta My Way - I'm Taking Your Fish!
July 28, 2011   NX-KS VIDEO
GREAT MANTLE as Nixy guards her fish from KS.  Excellent survival skill.

Fighting and More Fighting
July 28, 2011   NX-KS VIDEO

July 27, 2011 Nixy was brought back to WCV
She was put in with KS where they enjoyed feeding, fighting, flying and growing up.
KS had briefly been in the pen with the 3 NBG eagles til she was separated and put in a separate pen.

August 1  KS knocked Nixy off the swing in the WCV pen.  Nixy flew across the pen, then flew back - and KNOCKED KS off too!
Then they both flapped around the floor awhile.  It was humorous to observe normal eagle behavior on cam.
The transmitter doesnt bother Nixy at all.  She still bathes in the tub and flies beautifully.

Nixy  Information

One  of NX primary feathers was missing before the release, and a second, adjacent primary broken that day.
NX 2 primary flight feathers are broken off near the base at a point that will not allow the attachment of replacement tips, through the process called imping.
However, missing only two feathers is not a problem.


Its a good thing WCV re-captured her and took her back for another 2 weeks to mature and develop more survival skills.
It seems NX is more immature than her siblings.  This is common.  When released she flew and landed on the ground, making HELP HELP! cheeping sounds,
instead of a more mature GET AWAY FROM ME warning sound.  

Ed Clark, WCV  Aug 2

First, NX is in great health. She is strong, fit, able to fly well, eating well, and everything else she needs to be at this age, from a physiological point of view.
What became clear, only at the release, is that her behavior, which looked fine under the controlled circumstances of the flight pen,
was a bit more juvenile under stress than we would have imagined, given her interaction with her siblings.
When they approached her on the ground after her initial release, instead of responding with an adult "one step closer and I'll rip your face off" vocalization,
the kind we got from (her nest brother and sister) NZ and NV, she gave a juvenile distress "cheaping" call.

In and off itself, that would not have been a huge deal, but her response to the people was to hunker down and run, rather than fly off, again, a juvenile reaction.
It was a normal reaction, entirely, but a reaction of a bird who has not quite "flipped the switch", as Dr. Miranda puts it, to being a fully mature sub-adult.
So, since there were so many people there, and we knew that someone would not be able to resist approaching her,
we decided that it would be best to bring her back and give her a bit more time.
Part of the benefit of having KS in the cage with her, is that it is giving her something with which to deal that makes her respond.
Again, normal stuff, but pushing her a bit.  That is allowing us to watch and monitor her reactions.

I will say again, what we have said all along.. The transmitter is NOT a problem for her, and it is not the issue AT ALL!!!
If you will recall, NX was the "good child"- no broken bones, no lead poisoning, so she had the least amount of stressful handling in her life.
We chose her because she had been handled least, but in retrospect, extra handling might have helped her toughen up a bit.
Azalea, her sister (from a previous year), was also a late bloomer.

So, we are going to reevaluate her in ten days or so, monitoring her daily to see if she has "flipped the switch."
We are confident that she will, and we're confident that all will be well.  

Her response to stress was the issue, NOT the transmitter.
The stress was neither cruel nor excessive, and because of the transmitter attachment,
we got to see that NX had a vulnerability we might not otherwise have seen had she just been tossed in the air.

I have not seen the photos that have been reposted, but I know what was happening, and know that it was ALL perfectly within the bounds of proper handling.
They were deliberately trying to get NX to flap her wings and try to escape, normal adult behavior,
to be 100% sure the transmitter harness was neither too loose, nor too tight.
We had not one, but two of the world's most experienced wildlife vets standing right there, people who have devoted their lives to caring for wildlife.




Attaching transmitter to NX at Berkeley July 27, 2011

Mike Lanzone
Mike Lanzone came on the WCV moderated blog August 1 to check on NX.
Mike Lanzone is tracking NX and told us - -
We have been modeling eagle movements in Virginia for 4 years now with high frequency data that will allow us to
develop models to help avoid potential problems with wind power development especially,
but now since the strike we have been looking into airstrikes and modeling for any mitigation and insight to how birds are using the airspace around airports.
(I dont know what he said in English, sorry)

Nixy's is the same kind of transmitter, but lighter (3% of body weight is the recommended) we made it 1.8%,
so it will send less frequently as it has a smaller battery, these are the same kind of transmitters.

None of Nixy's feathers fell out or were damaged during the transmittering, we are very very careful.
I can assure you I treat every bird I work with as they were our babies!
It is a privilege to get to work with them and we always put the birds welfare first!

NBG Bald Eagle NX   #11-0475 [NX]

Freqently Asked Questions about Transmitters

Golden Eagle Soars Again
Here you see DGIF has attached a transmitter to a golden eagle

Feathers are made of keratin, like their beak.  
The feathers have tiny interlocking structures called barbs which the eagle can be seen ‘zipping’ up when preening -
meaning they are rejoining the barbs together - as the feathers will separate.
Due to the construction of the feather, it is very light, but strong.
Extending from the barbs are a series of short branchlets called barbules. Tiny hooklets tie the barbules, and ultimately the barbs, together.
This somewhat complex arrangement creates the strong but light structure of the feather.


KS was admitted June 9, 2011 ad - Virginia Beach Bald Eagle  #11-1234
LOCATION OF RESCUE:  Virginia Beach, Virginia
CAUSE OF ADMISSION:  Unable to fly

Whats new at WCV

Reese Lukei tracked Nixy's siblings from previous years

Eagle Trak, Reese Lukei

Reese holding Azalea - tracker blog

NBG eagle nest 2011

2011 NBG NEST SEASON in photos
The mating, the eggs, the hatchlings, grow, death of female.
Here is a beautiful link from Rhoda, God bless her, of the 2011 NBG year.
Keep hitting the arrow key when your done with the video to see the others

WCV -  Wildlife Center of VA,  Ed Clark big chief there

Page Date August 2, 2011

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2013  HK, Son of NBG, older brother of NX

2012 NX (Nixy) NBG female has a transmitter.  
She was removed from nest when her mom died and raised at WVC
NX is the kid sister of HK

2011  Epitaph for an Eagle
NBG nest and the death of that female which resulted in no more NBG nests permitted  Sad
The NBG male and female were the parents of NX and HK
Eagle's nest removed from Norfolk Botanical Garden October 5, 2012 and there will be deterrents to keep the eagles away.

2012  Richmond Va nest

2013 Lucy One Foot at the Blair Wisconsin nest, Eagles4kids

2012 Bald Eagle Nesting Season, several nests

August  16, 2011
Nixy is still not ready to be released
She is still at WCV with KS whose feathers are still growing in.
Both are doing just fine but it is not wise to release them to the wild yet.
Both HATE humans who come to feed and water them.
That is a GOOD thing, they are wild birds.

In Memory of NX and her nest mates and parents

              Posted   <*))))><   by  

ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nixy's Travels, Tracking an eagle called NX

Nixy and KS are fine after  Hurricane Irene drenched them!
In the middle of pouring rain, KS got in the tub!  I found that strange.

August 30, 2011  Tuesday
WCV staff released NX and her pen mate, KS at Berkeley Plantation at 10:30 a.m

When her transmitter number is released I will post it so you can track her.

The RELEASE    Smile

Release day for Nixy (NX) and her pen mate KS who is NOT one of the NBG nest mates.
The other 2 were released July 27th.

Congowings moderator posted the release account from tweets from someone at the release site.
Thank you Congo!  (Yes she has a grey parrot who owns the house.)

Ed Clark is trying to determine where he wants to release the eagles - meaning what direction, etc.
Dr. Adam (he is dreamy cute!), Dr. Dave, Mr. Clark, Mr. Huwa, and Travis are there. Several professional photographers there including shutterbug Bob.

Clark will be releasing towards the water - doesn't want NX to head to the trees -

10:30 am  Nixy released!  She flew up .. up .. up and awaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy .. across the waters.
The staff of WCV went to see where she went.
Dr. Dave has gone off to see where NX might have gone - it takes a while to hike over there - and see if they can see where she went. When she flew off she disappeared behind trees -
Dr. Dave and JrDeal found NX - she is sitting in a tree close to the water - just chilling out. No vocalizations - just getting her bearings. So all is good.

10:40   Shoebutton commented - She probably said "I'm outta here folks, See ya!  I'm free!"

KS is a bit fiesty - looking for a piece of Ed - and squawking
KS  was released about 5 minutes after NX
flew over the trees - and is now going across the water
Another eagle joined KS - probably an adult.  Could it be her parent?
KS is making circles over the water with other eagles.

4 other juvenille (under 5 years) flew up to meet KS and all flew in a circle over the river.

Need NOT join fb to view.  I DO NOT recommend joining facebook

NX did quite well for herself.  After flying across a field, NX made a u-turn and landed in a boxwood tree — not a very stable perch.
After landing on the ground, she gathered herself and then flew off across the field, gaining altitude.  
NX then flew over some trees by the James River, and landed near the river bank — then flew up to a perch about 15 to 20 feet up in a tree.


Thank you soooo  much Bob for permission to use this wonderful story in a photo!  Smile
Bob is a professional photographer, his webite


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is Nixy now ?

September  1,  2011
August 31:  The Wildlife Center staff received data from NX’s transmitter today.  
We are still learning this new system and will be experimenting with different ways to display maps and data on her whereabouts.  

Since her release, NX has spent most of her time in a wooded area next to the James River, and she roosted in a tree overnight.
She spent a short amount of time on the ground this morning, but otherwise has been perching in trees ranging in height from 10 to 28 meters.  

At 8:22 a.m. she took a quick flight across a field, clocking in at 60 miles per hour at an altitude of 68 meters.  222 feet!

All in all, by examining the data, we think that NX is exploring the area around Berkeley Plantation.

The next data dump from the transmitter should occur on Friday — if she is within cell coverage at the appointed hour.  
Please check back here for further updates.

NOTE - Nixy will not have the traditional bald eagle white head until she is 5 years old.
Their third and fourth year they are called a 'dirty' bird as they are mottled.


September  2,  2011  
Nixy appears to be moving a bit farther afield and is now off of the Berkeley property.
She’s moved into a different forested area close to the water.  
According to Mike Lanzone, one of the Cellular Tracking experts, that exact spot is one used by other Bald Eagles that also have units on.

Here is a slide show tribute from eggs to freedom.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

September 6, 2011  Tuesday

Nixy appears to LIKE Westover - near Berkeley where she was released.
I am betting she has encountered her siblings.

As of September 6  Nixy has been on her own for one week.  
She remains close to Berkeley Plantation, and each morning wakes up a little further from her release location.
For the last 5 nights she has roosted next to a small tributary of the James River that cuts up behind Berkeley and Westover, this is prime eagle habitat.

Looking at her tracks on Google Earth, we can see Nixy’s travel path tends to stick to tree lines, which provide her good cover and lots of roosting and perching places.
The shallow waters of the upper tributary where she has been for the last few days are good fishing grounds.
Position, speed, and altitude data is recorded by the backpack at 15-minute intervals, so interpretations of other behaviors (for example, hunting)
would only be conjecture at this point, however, we are seeing her in the air quite a bit flying from place to place.
It will be interesting to see where she moves to next now that she has reached the narrowest end of the tributary.

Nixy's tracks and Roosting Locations
Click on pictures on this link to enlarge.  I dont know how to transfer those to here.


September 8
Nixy seems to have found a place she likes!  
She’s still hanging out in the same area she was two days ago, as it appears that she has found a favorite perch at the end of the tributary.  
She made a few trips to explore the wooded areas nearby, and she is getting out and spreading her wings a little more each day.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

September  10, 2011  Saturday
Nixy heads NORTHEAST

After the rainy weather cleared, Nixy opted to leave the Berkeley Plantation area and is now in King and Queen County!  
Friday, September 9, she woke up at the same general area near the Berkeley Plantation and then left town at about 9:30 a.m.  
She flew 35 miles to a forested area in King and Queen, and arrived around 1:30 p.m.  
Today she seems to be flying around the same general area.

Nixy appear to be heading Northeast, AWAY from her natal nest area of Norfolk Gardens, Virginia

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday,  Sept. 12, 2011  Ed Clark, WCV: blog post
Nixy heads EAST

We are delighted the signals (from NX) are coming in strong.
During very heavy cloud cover, the device does not get a good lock on enough satellites, and sometimes send in goofy data,
but we pretty much discount the one reading that showed NX flying at 999 miles per hour. She's good, but not that good!

The device needs two satellites for a location, but three for a good read on elevation and speed.

WCV's Amanda analyzes and posts this data.
Since Saturday, Nixy has flown an additional 30 miles NORTH to Kilmarnock in Northumberland County.  
She is currently about 2.5 miles from Chesapeake Bay.


September 14, 2011  Wednesday

NX is still in Northumberland County.  She has flown about 13 miles to the northern part of the county, just west of the town of Ophelia.  
Today she was flying (north) at 16 miles per hour at an altitude of 262 feet.  
According to the map, she appears to be flying over a field.  She spent the night in the woods.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thursday, September 22, 2011


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

September 16, 2011  Friday

Nixy did not 'phone home' today.
Her transmitter is set to incoming an hour a day, and if she is out of range, no call.  No worries!
Lots of people of noted that cell coverage is very spotty in the area she was last tracked.

WCV  Amanda Nicholson from blog post
Remember, reports are contingent on
a) us having enough time to do them and MORE importantly
b) NX checking in!  She didn't check in Sept. 16th.

We said this would happen when she's out of cell range, and as all of us with cell phones know, there are those dead zones out there or calls get dropped.

On her transmitter FAQ we said that her transmitted only tries to check in for one hour every other day.
So she could be out of range for that period of time and missed the chance to phone it.
I wouldn't be surprised if she was just in a spotty-covered wooded area, hanging out for the day and missed her chance.

Nixy's sibling Azalea, the bald eagle with another tracker, has arrived in the same area Nixy was.
Azalea was hatched in 2009, and had the same parents.
Nixy is Azalea's younger sister.  

September 19, 2011  Monday
NX checked in on September 16 to deliver 4 days of data.
In our last update NX was hanging out east of Lancaster in Northumberland County, Virginia.
She has changed direction again and headed north to the shores of the Little Wicomico River, just east of Burgess.
The river empties onto the Chespeake Bay and has a beautiful marina on it.

September 22, 2011   Thursday

Nixy has settled on the banks of the Little Wicomico River in Northumberland County VIRGINIA.
The stand of trees she is favoring borders fields rather than heavy human-occupied territory, and she has a small inlet nearby in which to fish.
I am thinking our Nixy has had ENOUGH of humans.  Haahaa!

23 days since her release, and she is currently 62 miles from her release location in Charles City, Virginia.
In her travels she has visited 7 counties, crossed one major river and numerous smaller rivers and streams,
been known to frequent areas other tracked eagles have been to, and may have crossed paths with her sister Azalea.

Nixy loved to sit in the tub of water in her pen at WCV, so loving to be near lots of water is no surprise.
If only someone could get a pic.  Nixy would be smiling for sure.  Possibly stick her tongue out at us.

Nixy is very close to Accomack County (island at right), Virginia where an Accomack Bald Eagle was rescued.

Bald eagles Azalea, Camellia and Buddy are siblings, but hatched in different years to the Norfolk eagle pair, of which the female died in 2011.
Buddy hatched in 2008
Azalea hatched in 2009
Camellia hatched in 2010
Nixy  (NX officially banded)  2011

September 22
Azalea and Camellia are also banded and tracked
Azalea is on Bamboo Island at the mouth of the Potomac River – white arrow.
Azalea has not wandered far since Sept 18. She has stayed right along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay where the Little Wicomico River empties into Chesapeake Bay.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia web site (www.wildlifecenter.org) shows that Nixy is close by.

Buddy gets a new pen at the WildlifeCenter of VA Sept 2011
You might enjoy this video.  He was the only nestling that year and had beek pox so was taken and saved and is used for education.

September  30,  2011
Nixy was still in the same place.  It had rained and rained for over a week.

October   01,  2011  
Nixy has settled on the banks of the Little Wicomico River in Northumberland County VIRGINIA
NX checked in today, she has ventured further inland on the River to Hansons Cove.
It is a heavily wooded area, and her tracks show her flying back and forth to trees on either side of the cove.
Her last known position shows that she has returned to her a preferred tree in a more populated zone of the river.


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