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Bald Eagle Nest Surveys

Bald eagle nest (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal and Constitution)

The bald eagle, once fairly common in Georgia, was no longer nesting in the state by the early 1970s. A ban on the use of DDT in the U.S. in 1972, habitat improvements following enactment of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, protection through the Endangered Species Act, increased public awareness, and the restoration of local populations through release programs all helped bald eagle populations rebound here and elsewhere. Georgia’s ongoing conservation efforts include monitoring all known eagle nests and working with landowners to protect nest sites from disturbance.

During the 2010 nesting season, DNR documented 139 occupied nesting territories. Of these, 122 were successful, fledging 194 eaglets. In comparison, there were 55 known nesting territories in the year 2000, nine in 1990 and only one in 1980. Following federal de-listing in 2007, primary legal protection for nesting eagles comes under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Nongame Conservation Section biologists continue to monitor nesting activity and work with landowners to manage nest sites.

(Photo: Bald eagles on their nest/Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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