Conserve Wildlife Blog

New Jersey Eagle Nesting in PA

June 14th, 2014

the story of “Jersey Girl”

Larissa Smith: Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

NJ banded bird B-64 taken in PA @ Linda Oughton

NJ banded bird B-64 taken in PA @ Linda Oughton

Each year biologists with the NJ ENSP & CWF band chicks at eagle nests though out NJ. Each chick gets a green (NJ) band on one leg and a silver federal band on the other.  The Green band indicates that the bird was banded in NJ and the letter over the number combination is recorded so we know where and when.  There are at least 20 pairs of eagles nesting in NJ where at least one of the adults is a NJ banded bird.  Over the past few years we’ve gotten reports of NJ birds seen in other states and if we’re lucky (and someone has a really good camera) the green band can be read.

We recently heard from Linda Oughton who lives in PA.  She  has a pair of eagles nesting near her home and was able to get a photo of the perched female with green band B/64.  She was able to tell us that this pair has been nesting for the past three years near her development in Montgomery County and raised and fledged four young for two of those years. They were active this season and had two chicks, which unfortunately didn’t survive due to the severe winter weather.  Before nesting in this tree they nested for three years at another location where they raised seven young.  The banded eagle is a female which is known because she is larger than her mate (female eagles are larger than the males).

B-64 with two chicks raised and fledged in 2013 @ L. Oughton

B-64 with two chicks raised and fledged in 2013 @ L. Oughton

B/64 was one of three chicks banded in 2004 at the Hopewell West nest which is located in Cumberland County along the Cohansey River. Linda has named  B/64 “Jersey Girl”  and she keeps everyone in the development where she lives informed about the nest. No doubt that this former NJ bird is well loved and protected.

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