Nye's Research Goals
Thirty Years of Eagle Research: Why?
We have been studying eagles in New York State for over 30 years now. Why? Initially we wanted to:
As time went on and the population of eagles grew, our focus shifted:
Much of our work to identify essential habitat and movement patterns has focused on wintering eagles.
Eagle habitats are of vital importance to our wintering eagle population. Conservationists call them essential or critical habitats. * Knowing what habitats these birds use, we can then determine if the areas are threatened and might be lost. If so, we can try to protect them.
Habitats Along the Upper Delaware River
Critical Habitat All Along the Migration Route
We're also trying to locate similar critical habitats
We have learned that many New York wintering birds are coming from similar areas in Canada—breeding areas that may not be known by the Canadian and Provincial governments, and that might also need protection. Thanks to satellite radios that can operate for multiple years, we have learned a great deal about 'fidelity' to these sites and routes. We have learned that these eagles use their wintering areas, migratory routes and nesting areas with substantial faithfulness year after year.
After more than 30 years Nye's eagle field work has slowed recently and he and his staff have turned their attention to a study of short-eared owls, which, similar to the eagles, descend into New York each winter from the north, and winter in grasslands there. Protection of these grasslands has become another important research goal.
Research Highlights at the New York State Dept.of Environmental Conservation
Keep up with the latest Bald eagle research reports published by the DEC.