Bald Eagle Peter Nye

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Bald Eagle

EASTERN Bald Eagle Migration Update: May 4, 1998

Today's Report Includes:

News from Biologist Peter Nye

Latest Travels of Eastern Eagles

"Hey, we're seeing here a little additional movement by #F44; she may not be quite done...," said Nye on Saturday. (See latest data below.)

"Eagle #F44 stopped a bit sooner than I expected, so she didn't reach the latitudes I thought she might. But still, for the east, it is the farthest north one has been tracked so far. (As far as eagles all over North America, 55 degrees is certainly not the highest; I believe they get to 65 degrees and better in Alaska.)"


Today's Satelllite Data from Eastern Eagles

How Many Eagles are Migrating in the East?
Last week, Jim Watson reminded us that satellite tracking gives biologists a sample. The migrations of individual birds actually represent the movements of a whole population. We asked Peter Nye how many eagles might be migrating from the East to nest in the north, according to the same pattern as his 3 eagles.

"Obviously it's tough to say with certainty, but my educated guess would be 1,000-2,000 birds, perhaps closer to the low end. And yes, we have far fewer eagles here in the East than there are in the Midwest and West. (Meaning the East Coast area, east of the Mississippi River.) That's one reason it is so hard to capture 'target' birds, when you are beginning with a very small potential pool.

"One little known fact I'll inject here, however, is that the East holds the record for the largest number of bald eagle nests in one of the 48 contiguous states. Can you guess? Actually it is the state of Florida, which at last count had well over 600 nesting pairs! In aggregate though,total numbers of nesting balds in eastern states, as with winter birds, can't match the Midwest (Great Lakes region) and the Pacific Northwest.

Photo: USFWS

"Eagles hit their nadir in the continental US in the early 1970's, and have made a remarkable comeback in a very short time. Since the early '70's, we have seen the population go up by nearly 1000%. It has taken about 25 years now to 'rebuild' the Eastern population. This is really an incredibly short time span when you think about the longevity of this species, their low reproductive output, age to first breeding, etc.

"This is due to a variety of factors: habitat protection, ban on DDT, human enlightenment (and this is giving us much credit!), and active restoration programs We must remain ever vigilant, however. Despite these strides, the key to the eagles future with us is for us to secure (protect) sufficient suitable habitat (including all necessary components of that habitat) for eagles, so that we can sustain the same numbers we have now in 100 years; a tough challenge!

Link to
Population Clock

U.S. Population

(Increases by 1 person every 13 seconds.)

World Population

(Increases by 2.5 people every second.)

"I'm sure I speak for Jim Watson as well when I say that we sincerely hope that you kids reading and studying this now, will one day soon pick up the banner and continue to fight for the survival of not only bald eagles, but all species. The human population is only projected to keep growing and keep demanding resources; we will need all of your help!!!

--Eagleye Nye--

The FINAL Bald Eagle Migration Update will Be Posted on May 15, 1998.

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