Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bald eagle’

Duke Farms Bald Eagles Hatch Two of Three Eggs

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist

The two Duke Farms bald eagle chicks peek out from under their parent to catch some sun.

It looks like the Duke Farm’s nest will only have two chicks this season.

One egg remains in the nest bowl and is still being incubated, but based on when the second chick hatched, March 1st, it should have hatched by now. We won’t know for certain why the egg didn’t hatch, but one theory is that it was the first egg laid.

There had been intruder eagles at the nest and fights between the adults and intruders. At one point both adults were off the nest for 20 minutes while an immature was in the nest. Perhaps something happened to the egg during these incidents.

The egg will eventually get buried in the nest or shoved to the side. The adults are busy bringing food to the nest for feedings and both chicks are getting plenty of food.

Watch the LIVE Duke Farms Eagle Cam by clicking here.

Read more about the New Jersey Eagle Project by clicking here.


Eagles In Every County: NJDEP Posts 2020 Bald Eagle Press Release

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

NJDEP & CWF REPORT RECORD NUMBER OF BALD EAGLE NESTS, WITH EAGLES CONFIRMED IN ALL 21 NJ COUNTIES

by Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

Photo by Northside Jim

2020 was a record breaking year for Bald Eagles in New Jersey. Going from just one recorded nest in 1980, New Jersey’s Bald Eagles hit three major milestones this year in terms of new nests, locations and total nests monitored.

A record 36 new eagle nests were found in 2020. 22 nests were found in southern New Jersey, seven in northern New Jersey, and seven in central New Jersey.

This means that Bald Eagle are now confirmed to nest in every county in the state!

An astounding (and record breaking) 220 nesting pairs of eagles were also monitored in 2020. These pairs produced a total of 307 eaglets, with an additional 28 nesting pairs tracked to nests, but laying no eggs. Of the 210 known-outcome nests, an average of 1.46 young were produced per nest, exceeding the productivity rate necessary to maintain a stable population of 1.0 young per nest.

These numbers could not have been achieved or documented without the dedicated efforts of the almost one hundred volunteers with the Bald Eagle Nest Monitor program, managed by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ in partnership with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program. These volunteers conduct the majority of the nest-observation work vital to the Endangered and Nongame Species Program in tracking the population and nest distribution of our state’s Bald Eagles.

“The comeback of the bald eagle in New Jersey ranks among the most inspiring recoveries of endangered wildlife species anywhere,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. “The bald eagle’s return illustrates what is possible for many other rare species when you bring together proactive wildlife management, strong public investment, and the unparalleled dedication of biologists and volunteers.”

CWF thanks our dedicated volunteers and partners who make our bald eagle conservation work possible, including PSE&G, Wakefern Food Corp./ShopRite Stores, P&G, Wells Fargo, Mercer County Parks, Wildlife Center Friends, the American Eagle Foundation, and the Zoological Society of New Jersey.

Click here to read the full NJDEP press release.


Learn more about CWF’s Bald Eagle Project & read the annual Bald Eagle Project Reports by clicking here.

Learn about tracking Bald Eagles through New Jersey EagleTrax by clicking here.

Learn more about Bald Eagles in CWF’s Field Guide by clicking here.

Help Us Continue the Inspiring Recovery of New Jersey’s Bald Eagles: The first $5,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar!

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

by Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

Photo by Barb McKee

None of us could have predicted what would happen in 2020, and that’s certainly true for New Jersey’s bald eagles.

When our eagle volunteers joined me at our kick-off training in February, we prepared as usual to monitor known nests and educate landowners and the public about the importance of minimizing disturbance to our breeding pairs.

We never imagined how important eagles would become to so many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of you shared the wonder you felt in seeing eagles fly overhead, some for the first time. Eagles became a sign of strength and resilience for those staying at home, as well as those venturing out to do essential work.

And New Jersey’s eagle population soared – both literally and figuratively – breaking records with more than 200 active nests (with eggs) and 300 young fledged – up from just one pair in the early 1980’s.

We can thank our devoted eagle volunteers for this year’s success, as well as the individual, foundation, and corporate supporters who came through with funding to support our tireless efforts.

Unfortunately, not everyone who gave in the past, or who expected to give this year, donated as planned. And we recently learned that we’re losing our largest project funder for the coming season.

That is why I’m asking you to donate today to help CWF raise $10,000 to help cover the shortfall. Two generous donors have each put up a $2,500 match, which means that the first $5,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar.

While having the best season on record is exciting news for all of us, important work remains to be done. Eagles still face serious threats of habitat loss and disturbance. The increasing population will require an even larger team of trained volunteers to observe nesting behavior and determine egg laying, hatching, and fledging dates. It also means an increase in the number of injured eagles which will need help. All of this takes time and resources.

For my part, I’m happiest when I’m outside working with bald eagles as I have for 20 years. After all, I’m a biologist, not a fundraiser! But in this case, I’m reaching out to ask for your support for the Eagle Project. We have overcome financial challenges in the past with the help of people like you. Whether you have always supported this project, or have newfound appreciation for these majestic raptors, please help us to ensure that this incredible success story continues to inspire all of us!

Thank you and stay safe.


Learn more about CWF’s Bald Eagle Project here.

Learn more about New Jersey EagleTrax here.

Watch the CWF/Duke Farms Eagle Cam here.

NJTV: State eagle and falcon populations soar

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Story by NJTV. 

Mercer County is now home to two pairs of bald eagles and their nests. The discovery comes nearly three decades after the species nearly vanished from New Jersey.

“Bald eagles in particular were wiped out to where we only had one nest in all of New Jersey as recently as the 1980s, and it wasn’t even a successful nest. And now we have over 200 pairs of bald eagles,” said David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Wheeler said pesticides and people led to the near extinction of bald eagles.

Friday, bird watchers came equipped with binoculars and cameras to catch a glimpse of one the nests located at Mercer County Park.

“To see the nature and the national symbol of the United States all right here in Mercer Park is pretty neat,” said Flemington resident Graham MacRitchie.

Nearly 70 people were part of a new educational walking tour run by the County Parks Commission.

Fly Eagles Fly!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Eagle Viewing Event at Mercer County Park ~ Feb. 8 from 1-3pm

Bald eagle in flight. photo by Northside Jim

This breeding season, the Mercer County Park Commission is pleased to announce that two pairs of bald eagles have chosen County Parks for nest sites, continuing their expansion in New Jersey and the greater mid-Atlantic region. To celebrate the resident eagles, the Park Commission, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF), PSE&G and the Wildlife Center Friends have launched a partnership to provide bald eagle-themed programs.

The first free public event will be at Mercer County Park at the West Picnic Area on Friday, Feb. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will meet with naturalist staff and walk to the viewing site, where interpretation on eagle nesting will be offered. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view eagle activity through a spotting scope and binoculars.