Did you know?
To help reduce disturbance to young bald eagles we are using satellite transmitters to identify and protect communal roost sites.
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 2020, there were 248 pairs of bald eagles monitored in New Jersey. 220 of these nests were active (laid eggs) and produced 307 young.
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.
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 220 active nests in 2020.
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.
Bald Eagles and Lead: A Deadly Mix - 272.5KB
Nesting Bald Eagles in New Jersey- Brochure - 624.1KB
Bald Eagles Nesting in New Jersey- Information for Landowners and Land Managers - 644.8KB
Guidelines for Maintenance at Communication Towers that Support Raptor Nests in New Jersey - 49.4KB
Adopt a Species - Bald eagle - 197.5KB
The 2021 eagle nesting season is well underway. Results from the 2021 nesting season won't be available until after all the chicks fledge in the late summer/early fall.
2019 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.1MB
2018 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report - 5.2MB
2017 Bald Eagle Project Report - 937.9KB
2016 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.4MB
2015 Bald Eagle Project Report - 2.2MB
2014 Bald Eagle Project Report - 4.8MB
2013 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.0MB
2012 Bald Eagle Project Report - 1.3MB
2011 Bald Eagle Project Report - 842.7KB
2010 Bald Eagle Project Report - 534.7KB
2009 Bald Eagle Project Report - 430.8KB
2000 Annual Bald Eagle Project Report - 3.5MB
- Bald Eagle information including identification, life history, distribution, and more
- New Jersey EagleTrax: eagle tracking project
- Duke Farms Eagle Cam
- "The Last Nest: Saving our Bald Eagle Population" New Jersey Monthly article
- Additional information on eagles on njfishandwildlife.com
Larissa Smith, Biologist: Email
Duke Farms Eagle Cam
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.
New Jersey EagleTrax
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!
Adopt a Bald eagle and help Conserve Widlife Foundation protect this endangered species in New Jersey.