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Checking Bald Eagle Nests!

Lauren DinanContributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist

Spring is here, which means Bald Eagles are hunkered down on eggs waiting for them to hatch. This also means we have been out checking eagle nests to determine which nests are active.  Bald Eagle nest monitoring is annual project of the Nongame Bird Program in Nebraska, but we do not do this alone. We mentioned in a previous post about a record of 111 active nests recorded in Nebraska in 2014.  With a large and increasing number of nests, we work cooperatively with partners such as the National Park Service-Missouri River National Recreational River, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and members of the public like you.

A Bald Eagle nest viewed from a distance.
A Bald Eagle nest viewed from a distance. The nest is easily visible this time of year when there are no leaves on trees.

This time of year is perfect for checking eagle nests for several reasons: 1) adult eagles are sitting tightly on nests incubating eggs, 2) there are no leaves on trees so the nests are easily visible, and 3) after a cold winter being cooped up in the house it is nice to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.

Bald Eagle nest
A large Bald Eagle nest in the North Platte River valley.

We are aware of most established Bald Eagle nests in Nebraska, but each year there are new nests and we are interested in tracking them.  If you come across a Bald Eagle nest, particularly a “new” nest, while you are out and about this spring please contact us at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (contact information provided below) to report your sighting and let us know where the nest is located. Remember not to approach or harass the eagles.  Doing so may negatively affect these birds during this sensitive period and it can be a violation of federal law (those individuals interested in the law can visit this link).  If you have binoculars or a spotting scope and can tell if there is an adult eagle sitting on the nest we appreciate that information but only if you can acquire that information from a distance.  If we already know about the nest, we will let you know.  Even if that is the case, we greatly appreciate your cooperation.

If you have information about a Bald Eagle nest in your area, please contact either Joel or I.  Contact information is as follows:

Lauren Dinan: ngpc.nongamebird.temp@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5480

Joel Jorgensen: joel.jorgensen@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5440

Nongame Bird Blog

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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