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To help reduce disturbance to young bald eagles we are using satellite transmitters to identify and protect communal roost sites.

Wildlife Fact:

Immature bald eagles do not acquire the typical white head and tail until they are four to five years of age.

 

Bald Eagle Project

We help manage and protect bald eagles to ensure their long term survival. In 2019, there were 211 pairs of bald eagles monitored in New Jersey. 190 of these nests were active (laid eggs) and produced 249 young.


Image of Photo by Dallas HetheringtonZoom+ Photo by Dallas Hetherington Photo by Dallas Hetherington

In the 1970s and early 80s there was only one lonely bald eagle nest in New Jersey. With the banning of DDT, federal and state protections, and a huge number of hours invested by volunteers of the Bald Eagle Project, eagles numbers have soared to the triple digits in our state.


As eagle numbers rebounded, so did the demands to monitor nests. Almost every nest in New Jersey is closely monitored by a dedicated volunteer who visits the nest throughout the entire season to help biologists keep track of their attempt at nesting. They observe nesting behavior to determine egg laying, hatching, and fledge dates.


The Bald Eagle project would not be possible without these dedicated volunteers or our state and corporate partners. CWF biologists work closely with their counterparts at the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and corporate partners like Wakefern/Shoprite Stores and P&G provide crucial financial and outreach resources to help keep bald eagles soaring above New Jersey.

Image of CWF Board President Steve Neumann (center), Bald Eagle Project volunteers and state and CWF staff accept a check from Suzanne Forbes, Wakefern Food Corp./ ShopRite Sustainability Administrator (to his right) and Ron Doyle, P&G Senior Account Representative (to his left) to support the Bald Eagle Project.CWF Board President Steve Neumann (center), Bald Eagle Project volunteers and state and CWF staff accept a check from Suzanne Forbes, Wakefern Food Corp./ ShopRite Sustainability Administrator (to his right) and Ron Doyle, P&G Senior Account Representative (to his left) to support the Bald Eagle Project.

Historically, New Jersey was once home to more than 20 pairs of nesting Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). As a result of the use of the pesticide DDT, the number of nesting pairs of Bald eagles in the state declined to only one by 1970 and remained at one into the early 1980's. Use of DDT was banned in New Jersey in 1968 and federally in 1972 after the book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson was published in the early 1960s. Her book highlighted the concern of using agricultural synthetic pesticides on a wide spread basis and started the modern day environmental movement. The ban of DDT combined with early restoration efforts by biologists within the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) has led to the successful re-establishment of them in New Jersey, from only one active nest in 1982 to 190 active nests in 2019.

Today, CWF and ENSP biologists work together to manage and reduce disturbance in eagle habitats, especially around nest sites. Eagles are very sensitive to human disturbance and will abandon their nest sites if people encroach on the area during the nesting season, which begins in January and lasts until July. Education and established viewing areas are important in minimizing disturbance, as are the efforts of project volunteers, who are crucial to their successful nesting attempts each year.

In addition to protecting nest sites, biologists also work to protect suitable habitat in a variety of ways, including working with landowners, land acquisition experts, and through the state's land use regulations.

We also work very closely with power generation and service providers to reduce strikes and electrocutions of bald eagles. To help reduce these interactions with power lines we encourage the public, through outreach and education initiatives, to report birds who they believe were electrocuted or impacted a wire. We then gather that information and then report it to utility companies so that they can make alterations to their equipment to reduce chances of such forms of injury or mortality of bald eagles and other large birds.

To help raise awareness for nesting bald eagles, in partnership with Duke Farms, we host a live streaming nest camera that is situated above an eagle nest inside the Duke Farms estate in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Protecting Bald Eagle Communal Roost sites

Conserve Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program, have been actively tracking 2+ eagles who are outfitted with GPS transmitters. The data collected from this tracking project is being used to help identify and protect communal roost sites. Communal roosts for eagles play a significant role in the life cycle of non-breeding, sub-adult eagles. These sites are protected under a "disturb" clause of the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c); however, little is known about how and where these young eagles roost. Disturb means "to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or (3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.”

To help protect sub-adult eagles from human disturbance within these communal roost sites, we began tracking young eagles to study their movements. To view the movements of these birds, please click on the link below to view the location of these birds.


Publications:
Download Bald Eagles and Lead: A Deadly Mix

Bald Eagles and Lead: A Deadly Mix - 272.5KB
Despite the widespread recovery of bald eagles in New Jersey, today they face new challenges and one of those is lead poisoning. It takes just a tiny fragment of lead to sicken and kill an eagle. Download our fact sheet to learn more.

Download Nesting Bald Eagles in New Jersey- Brochure

Nesting Bald Eagles in New Jersey- Brochure - 624.1KB
The Rebound in the Garden State

Download Bald Eagles Nesting in New Jersey- Information for Landowners and Land Managers

Bald Eagles Nesting in New Jersey- Information for Landowners and Land Managers - 644.8KB
This brochure is for propery owners and managers who have eagles nesting on their property and want to learn more about eagle stewardship.

Download Guidelines for Maintenance at Communication Towers that Support Raptor Nests in New Jersey

Guidelines for Maintenance at Communication Towers that Support Raptor Nests in New Jersey - 49.4KB
This publication is meant to be a guide for companies that manage and maintain communication towers in New Jersey that support raptor nests. It offers key points of contact with NJ Fish and Wildlife and CWF and offers information on what to do when you encounter an active osprey or eagle nest throughout the year.

Download Adopt a Species - Bald eagle

Adopt a Species - Bald eagle - 197.5KB
Detailed information about the Bald eagle in New Jersey.


Annual Reports:
Download 2019 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report

2019 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.1MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report

2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report - 5.2MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2017 Bald Eagle Project Report

2017 Bald Eagle Project Report - 937.9KB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2016 Bald Eagle Project Report

2016 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.4MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2015 Bald Eagle Project Report

2015 Bald Eagle Project Report - 2.2MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2014 Bald Eagle Project Report

2014 Bald Eagle Project Report - 4.8MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2013 Bald Eagle Project Report

2013 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.0MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2012 Bald Eagle Project Report

2012 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.3MB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2011 Bald Eagle Project Report

2011 Bald Eagle Project Report - 842.7KB
Annual Newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2010 Bald Eagle Project Report

2010 Bald Eagle Project Report - 534.7KB
Annual newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project

Download 2009 Bald Eagle Project Report

2009 Bald Eagle Project Report - 430.8KB
Annual newsletter for the Bald Eagle Project.

Download 2000 Annual Bald Eagle Project Report

2000 Annual Bald Eagle Project Report - 3.5MB
2000 bald eagle project report


Learn More:

Contact Us:

Larissa Smith, Biologist: Email
609.628.0402


Find Related Info: Bald Eagles, Raptors

Duke Farms Eagle Cam

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Check out the live stream from a bald eagle nest at Duke Farms in New Jersey. Follow along as they breed, incubate, and raise their young.

 

Sponsors:

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New Jersey EagleTrax

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Learn how we are using satelite transmitters to shed light on the movements of sub-adult bald eagles to help protect roost sites and foraging areas that are critical to their long term survival.

 

Adopt a Bald Eagle!

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Adopt a Bald eagle and help Conserve Widlife Foundation protect this endangered species in New Jersey.

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