Conserve Wildlife Blog

An Eagle and a Biologist: 22 Years in Common

March 7th, 2022

by Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

Duke Farms male A/59; March 4th, 2022

As I write this there are two fluffy little chicks in the Duke Farms nest. They will have an audience of millions of eagle cam viewers watching them as they grow and fledge. As the adult eagles step around the nest, look closely and you will notice that one of them is banded. The male is A/59 and he is twenty-two years old. Twenty-two years ago I began my career with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation working with the New Jersey Eagle Project. In March 2000, A/59 hatched in a nest located in Greenwich, Cumberland County. When he was two weeks of age, he was fostered into a nest along the Rancocas River in Burlington County. The Rancocas pair had failed to produce their own young for a few years and fostering a healthy chick into the nest would help to keep the pairs fidelity to the nest site.

On May 15, 2000, he was banded and a radio transmitter was attached with a harness which was designed to eventually fall off. A/59 fledged on June 3 and was tracked until the transmitter’s signal was last recorded on October 22. You can read more details about the telemetry in the 2000 Bald Eagle Report.

February 7, 2022

In 2000, when he hatched and I started working with eagles there were 25 nesting pairs of eagles that fledged 29 young. Compare that to last year’s numbers of 247 pairs we monitored and 296 young fledged. As the number of eagles increases in New Jersey so does the competition for nest sites. A/59 has been able to defend and hold onto his territory at Duke Farms since 2009.

It’s very interesting to know the history of this eagle. I feel a bond with him since we both started our “eagle” journey at the same time.

6 Responses to “An Eagle and a Biologist: 22 Years in Common”

  1. Anne Woolley says:

    Wonderful article. We DFers love our dad. Congratulations to you too.

  2. Jill Brown says:

    Wow Larissa thank you for all these years dedicated to Conserve Wildlife. You bring great knowledge! Jill

  3. Helen Trammell says:

    Thank you indeed Larissa! The JOY of seeing A-59 bring new eagles into the world…ah the enlarging community of these elegant, regal raptors. A Joy!

  4. Janet remlinger says:

    Hi Larissa,

    Thank you for the history on the Duke Farm Male eagle, A/59. I’ve only been watching for a few years, I can only imagine the close bond you feel with him.
    He is very special to me; I watch the nest cam every day. He is so dedicated to the hatchlings, bringing food and taking turns feeding and sitting with them. The female is very good too, I understand she is on her third year with the Duke Farm nest. It’s really a joy to be part of the viewing audience.
    What a wonderful little history you provided..

    Thank you- Janet

  5. Clare Luisi says:

    What a great story! Thank you for all the years you have dedicated to our beautiful Eagles.

  6. Barb McKee says:

    Many thanks to you Larissa for your 22 years of service, and for your superb guidance and leadership working with us Eagle Project volunteers! I love that A/59 shares your “eagle anniversary”!! Great work by both of you restoring New Jersey’s eagle population!