Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Bald Eagles’

Early Birds….

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

by Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist

Some of New Jersey’s  eagle pairs are getting an early start on the 2019 nesting season. Eagles in NJ will begin incubation anywhere from January through March.  NJ Eagle Project volunteers usually report eagles back and working on the their nests in the late fall/early winter.  But some pairs have already been spotted sprucing up their nests in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.

Kettle Creek 9/27/18@Alex Tongas

Overpeck 10/24/18@D.M. De Santis

CWF Celebrates American Eagle Day

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Spotlight on the Bald Eagle’s All-American Comeback in New Jersey

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

Photo by Northside Jim.

Photo by Northside Jim.

In 1985 — just 31 years ago — a single bald eagle nest remained in the state of New Jersey. In 2015, CWF and partners monitored 161 nests throughout the Garden State. Just this year (as of June 20, 2016), over 50 young eagles have already fledged from their nests! What sparked this All-American comeback of the United States’ National Bird?

 

DDT use was banned in the United States in 1972. That ban combined with restoration efforts by biologists within the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) resulted in 25 bald eagle pairs by 2000.

 

Since then, CWF and ENSP biologists have worked together to not only conserve New Jersey’s existing bald eagle population, but help young eaglets in the state thrive. We manage the New Jersey Bald Eagle Project, a network of passionate, dedicated volunteers that monitor bald eagle nests and help reduce human disturbance in eagle habitats. These incredible volunteers, like the late Elmer Clegg, have been an integral part in the recovery of bald eagles throughout the Garden State.

 

CWF and ENSP have even begun tracking bald eagles to see where they travel and to learn more about their behavior! During the summer of 2014, two juvenile bald eagles were fitted with a GPS tracking device (a wearable backpack). Our team of biologists chose one eagle from Atlantic County (a male) and one from Cumberland County (a female) to be tagged in this telemetry study. Then in May 2015, a juvenile male from a nest in Cumberland County was fitted with another GPS transmitter. You can follow the journey of “Nacote” and “Oran” on our website.

 

CWF also partners with Duke Farms on a webcam that provides a live look at a bald eagle nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey. During the eagle nesting season (late January-July), the EagleCam allows viewers an up close and personal view into the lives of a pair of bald eagles as they breed, incubate, and raise young. Between the general public and classrooms up and down the east coast, the EagleCam has many fans – over 11 million viewers and growing! This year, CWF’s eagle expert Larissa Smith launched a new citizen science program to engage these viewers in gathering scientific data on the eagles’ diet.

 

Today, American Eagle Day, we celebrate the hard work of the biologists, volunteers and concerned citizens throughout New Jersey that have made a difference for the birds and contributed to their comeback.

 

The bald eagle was selected as the central image of the Great Seal of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on this day, June 20, in the year 1782. For 234 years, the bald eagle has served as the living symbol of freedom, courage, strength, spirit, democracy, independence, and excellence. Today, we celebrate the recovery of the bird and the All-American comeback the population has made in the Garden State.

 

Throughout the entire country, there are an estimated 14-15,000 bald eagle pairs! Though the bald eagle was removed from Endangered Species Act protection in 2007, it is still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

 

The 501(c)(3), not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) of Tennessee has been a major proponent and organizer in establishing and promoting “American Eagle Day.” The AEF is celebrating its 30th year of protecting and caring for bald eagles and other birds of prey. CWF thanks AEF for their support of our work in New Jersey!

 

“On American Eagle Day, and every day, let us continue to treasure and protect the Bald Eagle all across this great land for future generations to enjoy,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere, who has been spearheading the American Eagle Day effort for two decades.

Learn More:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Bald Eagles Make a Comeback

Monday, May 16th, 2016
Reflections on the Eagles of Atlantic County, New Jersey

by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

Photo of Nacote on 4/8/2016 by Kelly Hunt.

Photo of Nacote on 4/8/2016 by Kelly Hunt.

It’s always a wonderful sight to see a bald eagle soaring up in the sky or perched in a tree. Today, if you live in South Jersey, the chances of seeing an eagle are pretty good. When I first began working with the New Jersey Bald Eagle Project in 2000, there were 25 nesting eagle pairs in New Jersey. Today, the State Endangered and Nongame Species Program along with Conserve Wildlife Foundation are monitoring over 160 pairs throughout the state! Needless to say, the eagle population is doing very well due to the recovery efforts and the team of dedicated New Jersey Eagle Project volunteers and supporters.

 

Today, there are seven known nesting pairs of eagles in Atlantic County. The longest residing pair in Atlantic County is the Galloway pair. Since 1996, the pair has raised and fledged a total of 29 chicks. During that time, the pair has moved their nest twice and the adults in the pair have most likely changed. Though eagles do mate for life, when one in the pair is injured or killed another is waiting to take it’s place. Jack Connor is one of our dedicated eagle project volunteers and has been monitoring the Galloway pair since they were first discovered in 1996. He has an intimate knowledge of this pair since he is out monitoring them every week during the nesting season. He has experienced the joy of seeing a chick(s) in the nest and the thrill of getting to hold one of those chicks at a banding. But he’s also had disappointment when a nest fails, which can happen during incubation or after hatching. In 2009, the nest collapsed and the two chicks didn’t survive. He has witnessed the determination of these birds to come back year after year.

 

In 2014, the chick at the Galloway nest was outfitted with a transmitter. This allows us to follow his movements after leaving the nest. The bird named ‘Nacote’ has been to Canada and back. He is now in Atlantic County and was spotted at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in April. Eagles reach sexual maturity at five years of age, so he has a few more years until he’ll start nesting. To follow Nacote’s movements, visit our website.

 

Learn More:

 

Larissa Smith is the Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

CWF’s Eagle Expert Launches New Citizen Science Project

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
CWF Biologist Larissa Smith Looking for Data from EagleCam Viewers

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

EagleCam Screenshot 2016

Conserve Wildlife Foundation eagle biologist Larissa Smith has launched a new citizen science project in an effort to learn more about New Jersey’s eagles. We know that many teachers, students and bird lovers watch the wildly popular Duke Farms EagleCam, and now those viewers can help Larissa gather data by participating in the Eagle Food Observation Project.

 

Larissa holding an eagle at a banding last week.

Larissa holding an eagle at a banding last week.

Jim Wright — author of the popular posts about the eagles for Duke Farms’ “Behind the Stone Walls” blog, as well as, “The Bird Watcher” column for The Record — interviewed Larissa Smith in the most recent post on Duke Farms’ blog. In this interview, Larissa explains her latest citizen science project to learn more about the Duke Farms eaglets’ diet.

 

Learn More:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Update On “Jersey Girl:” A Jersey Eagle Nesting In Pennsylvania

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

‘Jersey Girl’ and Her Mate Rebuild Nest for the 2016 Nesting Season

by Larissa Smith, wildlife biologist

Jersey Girl, B-64, New nest 2016@ L. Oughton

‘Jersey Girl,’ B-64, New nest 2016 Photo by L. Oughton.

We continue to follow the story of “Jersey Girl” B-64. She was banded in Hopewell, Cumberland County, New Jersey in 2004 and this is the fifth season her and her mate have nested in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. In 2015 after successfully raising three chicks, their nest collapsed due to rain and wind at the end of June, but luckily the three chicks had already fledged.

 

Nest observer Lind Oughton reported, “Well our great ‘Jersey Girl’ and mate have done it again. They built a brand new nest in the same tree but about 15 feet lower that the first nest. It is much more secure where it is now.” She reported incubation on February 12th and hatching around March 18th. On April 1st, she saw one chick in the nest. We will continue to follow “Jersey Girl’s” story and keep you updated.

"Jersey Girl", B-64, 2016 new nest@L. Oughton

“Jersey Girl”, B-64, 2016 new nest. Photo by L. Oughton

 

Learn More:

 

Larissa Smith is a wildlife biologist for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

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