Conserve Wildlife Blog

W34: A NY Banded Eagle In NJ

November 20th, 2017

Bands help to tell his story.

by: Larissa Smith, CWF Wildlife Biologist

Eagle banded W-34@ Randy Lubischer

In the end of October, NJ Eagle Project volunteer Randy Lubischer spotted a banded adult bald eagle near his home in Monmouth County. He was able take good photos that showed the bird was banded with a blue (NY) band on the left leg and was able to get a very clear image of the letter and number code on the band. We reached out to the NY Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources to find out more information on the eagle.

In the fall of 2011, an injured hatch year bird was found on the side of the road in Onondaga County, NY. The bird was rehabbed,  banded (NY Blue band W34) and released on October 7, 2011 at the Montezuma NWR.  On 11/18/2016, W34 was sighted in Darlington, Maryland and then in in NE Maryland again on 3/1/2017.

W34& mate 11/7/17@Randy Lubischer

W34 looks to be staying in NJ to nest as he has found a mate, a sub-adult female, who still has dark feathers on her head. They have started to build a nest and have been copulating.

We can’t necessarily assume that W34 was hatched in NY. Since he was found injured and not banded he could well be a NJ bird. We have followed NJ recent fledges outfitted with transmitters, take long flights north after leaving their nest areas.  We also know that many NJ banded eagles do return to NJ to nest. So we’ll never know the true origin of W34 but we can piece together some of his story and hopefully have more news about him and his mate in the upcoming nesting season.

W34 in flight@Randy Lubischer

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3 Responses to “W34: A NY Banded Eagle In NJ”

  1. ROBERT says:


  2. Lisa Kennedy says:

    Hi Larissa,

    Thanks for your note about W34. He is magnificent. I hope we’ll be seeing more of him and his mate. I’m not too familiar with Bald Eagles but trying to learn more (mainly concentrate on Osprey) Do they migrate?

  3. Larissa says:

    Hi Lisa,
    NJ nesting bald eagles don’t migrate. When nesting season is over in the summer they stay around the area. Some bald eagles do migrate, NJ gets eagles “wintering” in NJ. These birds are coming from up north.
    Eagles don’t become mature until their 5th year and during those five years they do move around, some more than others. We have transmitters on three eagles and you can see their movements over the past few years on our website