Public Asked to Report Bald Eagle Nesting Activity

One of the greatest wildlife success stories in modern wildlife management is the restoration of nesting bald eagles to Alabama. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, 91 juvenile bald eagles were released from several locations in the state in an attempt to imprint nesting territories on these young birds. This program has been hugely successful and each year more bald eagle nests are seen in the state.

Annually, wildlife biologists from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division monitor every known nest for nesting success by conducting aerial surveys in the winter and early spring. During the spring of 2004, 53 nests were monitored in Alabama. This was an increase of six nests from 2003, when 47 nests were monitored.

Often, the first report of a new nest is by members of the public, usually hunters, fishermen, or birdwatchers. These reports are extremely valuable in locating new eagle nests and assisting with overall monitoring efforts.

During the winter, it is not uncommon to see bald eagles on any large body of water in Alabama. Bald eagles nest in Alabama from late December to early June, but the presence of bald eagles during the winter does not necessarily mean that they are nesting. Reports should be made only if a bald eagle is seen in association with a nesting structure or is seen carrying large sticks or other nesting material.

Anyone seeing a bald eagle nest or an eagle carrying nesting material in Alabama is encouraged to contact the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Eagle nests should be reported to Mark Sasser, Nongame Wildlife Coordinator, at 334-242-3469 or by email at: msasser@dcnr.state.al.us.

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