Conserve Wildlife Blog

New Jersey 2017 Bald Eagle Project Report

December 6th, 2017

Another productive year for NJ’s eagles

by Larissa Smith, CWF Wildlife Biologist

E/07,Purcellville, VA;10/16/17@ Amie Ware

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ in partnership with the NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program has released the 2017 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report.  In 2017, 178 eagle nests were monitored during the nesting season. Of these nests 153 were active (with eggs) and 25 were territorial or housekeeping pairs. One hundred and ninety young were fledged.

In 2017 the number of active nests was three more than in 2016, but the number young fledged decreased by 27 from a record high of 216 fledged in 2016. The productivity rate this season of 1.25 young/active nest is still above the required range of 0.0 to 1.1 for population maintenance. Productivity could be lower this season for many reasons including weather, predation and disturbance to the nesting area.  In 2017 nest monitors reported several instances of “intruder” eagles at  nests which did disrupt the nesting attempts of several pairs.  One of these “eagle dramas” unfolded at the Duke Farms eagle cam watched by millions of people. An intruder female attempted to replace the current female. This harassment interrupted the pairs bonding and copulation and no eggs were laid.

This year’s report includes a section on Resightings of banded eagles. Resightings of NJ (green) banded eagles have increased over the years, as well as eagles seen in NJ that were banded in other states. These resightings are important, as they help us to understand eagle movements during the years between fledging and settling into a territory, as well as adult birds at a nest site.

Haliae Conowingo Dam, MD 11/17/17@ Monica J. Pileggi

The 2017 report also summarizes the movements of three transmittered eagles we continue to follow on New Jersey Eagle Trax. Haliae banded at Merrill Creek in 2013 was photographed on November 17, 2017 by Monica Pileggi at Conowingo Dam in Maryland. It appears that one of the transmitter straps has come loose, but we are still receiving signals. It is good to know that she is doing well.

The success of the NJ Eagle Project is directly due to the Eagle Project Volunteers who monitor and help to protect nests throughout NJ.  We thank them for all their hard work and dedication.

How You Can Help NJ Eagles:

  • Help us continue this important work by donating to our online fundraising campaign on Generosity.

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One Response to “New Jersey 2017 Bald Eagle Project Report”

  1. linda sohl says:

    so glad to see progress, and some NEW nests!

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