Bald Eagle

Bald eagles have been one of the greatest wildlife success stories. The nongame program began efforts to restore eagles to Alabama in 1984. From 1985-1991 91 juvenile eagles were relaesed back into the wild at 6 different hacking towers across the state.  The first confirmed successful nest was in 1991, and while the state does not conduct statewide nest surveys anymore, we are certain there are well over 100 nests now in the state. While statewide surveys are not conducted anymore because of the successful recovery, mid-winter bald eagle surveys continue to occur in early January each year along major lakes and reservoirs. Results from those surveys continue to show improvement in the state's eagle populations. 

If you know of a nest location, we encourage you to report that information thru email to our bald eagle coordinator, Carrie Threadgill, or by phone (334)242-3469. The nongame program does not have the resources to survey the state for nests, but does keep an internal database of any known eagle nests or reported nests for future reference.  

 

Golden Eagle

Many people do not realize, but Alabama has a wintering population of golden eagles. Golden Eagles that winter here are part of a much smaller eastern population of eagles that breed in eastern Canada, and not a part of the much larger western population. In 2012 agencies in Alabama partnered with 15 other states to monitor golden eagles across the Appalachian Mountains in a large project coordinated by Dr. Todd Katzner from West Virginia University. Game cameras were placed over bait sites to try and capture eagles at 5 different sites that year. Now with over a dozen sites set up annually, we have detected over 18 individual birds during the winter here in Alabama. Information from this monitoring will help us understand more about the habitat use, migration corridors, and population size of the easter golden eagles. 

Along with camera monitoring, a subset of eagles in Alabama have been captured and outfitted with new GPS-GSM cellular transmitters, that collect information every 15 minutes on the bird's location, speed, and altitude. This information is transferred via cellular data once a day, as long as the bird is within range of cell towers. Valuable information can be gained from these tracked birds on migration pathways, breeding home ranges, and wintering home ranges and habitat use. As of 2015, Alabama is tracking 10 eagles, 9 that were captured in Alabama and one additional eagle that was captured on Bear Hollow Mountain WMA, TN in cooperation with TWRA.

Eagles Captured: