Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bald eagle’

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.

Duke Farms Alumni D/99: All Grown Up

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

by Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist

On Sunday January 13th, 2019 photographer, Bob Cook was taking photos of the ~20 eagles at a lake in a Mercer County park. He noticed that one of the eagles had a green tag on it’s right leg. After reviewing the photos it was established that the band was D/99.

D/99;1/13/19@ Bob Cook

D/99 is from the Duke Farms nest located in Somerset County. He and his two siblings grew up as a celebrities their every move being watched by viewers of the Duke Farms eagle camera.  The three chicks were banded on May 12th, 2014. Measurements showed that there there were two males and one female, D/99 was the youngest male.  All three fledged from the nest in June 2014.

chicks at Duke Farms nest 5/12/14. D/99 is in the middle.

Unfortunately, in August of 2014 we received a report that D/98, the oldest male, was found dead up in Maine.  He most likely died of injuries that occurred during a fight with another eagle. This most recent sighting of D/99 is the first report of either of the two remaining chicks. D/99 will be five years old in April and reaching the age where he will be looking for a mate and establishing his own territory.  It is always nice to know that a chick has survived to adulthood and most likely has come back to NJ to nest.

D/99 @Bob Cook


2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

by: Larissa Smith, CWF Wildlife Biologist

photo by Bob Kane, Cranbury, Middlesex County

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ in partnership with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, has released the 2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report.

“Two hundred-four nest sites were monitored during the nesting season, of which 185 were documented to be active (with eggs) and 19 were territorial or housekeeping pairs.  Thirty new eagle pairs were found this season, 20 in the south, nine in central and one in the north.  One hundred-twenty-one nests (66%) of the 182 known-outcome nests produced 172 young, for a productivity rate of 0.94 young per active/known-outcome nest. The failure rate was well above average with 61 nests (33%) failing to produce.  The Delaware Bay region remained the state’s eagle stronghold, with roughly half of nests located in Cumberland and Salem counties and the bayside of Cape May County.”

The number of active nests has increased while the number of young eagles fledged has decreased since a high of  216 young fledged in 2016.  During the 2018 eagle nesting season there was an abundance of cold, wet, windy and snowy weather which was the cause for a portion of the nest failures. As the eagle population increases, there are  more eagles competing for territories. This can also be a contributing factor in nest failures.  NJ is still in the range of 0.9 to 1.1 young per nest which is needed for population maintenance with a productivity rate of 0.94 young per known-outcome/active nest in 2018. The 2018 NJ Eagle Project Report has all the details on the project including telemetry, re-sightings and recoveries.

The success of the eagle project is due to the tremendous dedication of the NJ Eagle Project Volunteers. They monitor the nests in all types of conditions and education people about the eagles with enthusiasm.

THANK YOU