Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee

A huge thanks to the Bald Eagle Biologists Tuk, Kyle, Kurt, and Jen with Nest Watchers Eduardo and his wife Letitia for allowing me to once again join them to go into the nest. Two 5 week old baby eaglets were brought down from the nest, observed, and banded. They were both healthy and doing well. The biologist together with the Nest Watchers ensure that the breeding is successful and that their nest remains healthy and free of harmful materials. They all deserve our gratitude for the amazing and important work they do. Unfortunately, if a eaglet fledged too soon or falls from its nest often it becomes injured and taken by predators such as coyote, bobcats, etc… We have seen this happen too often. The Nest Watchers try and prevent this from happening to the population we do have here in Arizona.

NOTE: To learn more about the Bald Eagle population, conservation efforts, and to get involved here in Arizona please visit the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee website: http://www.swbemc.org/

Bald Eagles love to make nests in huge willow and cottonwood trees. Arizona Game and Fish Department last year said that the Bald Eagles have had record-breaking numbers in 2016 in breeding areas, eggs laid and young hatched. Last year reports say at least 93 Bald Eagle eggs were laid and 78 of those hatched.

HABITAT: Bald Eagles are found throughout North America particularly in the Northwest Regions. Since their major diet is fish, Bald Eagles are primarily found near large bodies of water. Arizona Bald Eagles place their nests within a mile of a creek, lake, or river, however there are rare exceptions. Nests are placed mostly on cliff edges, rock pinnacles, and in cottonwood trees, however, artificial structures, junipers, pinyon pines, sycamores, willows, ponderosa pines, and snags of these trees also have housed eagle nests.

WINTER MIGRATION TO ARIZONA: During the winter, Bald Eagles migrating to Arizona from the north and are found in a variety of habitats throughout the state. The wintering Bald Eagles will follow the freeze line south to find more available prey. Large numbers are common at lakes and rivers along the Mogollon Rim area and east throughout the Arizona White Mountains. Bald Eagles are not regularly found in large concentrations, but occasionally 30 or more Bald Eagles are present around Mormon Lake as well as Upper and Lower Lake Mary in the Flagstaff area. About 300 Bald Eagles migrate to Arizona in the winter each year.

HELP PROTECT BALD EAGLES:

  • Enjoy Bald Eagles from a distance, as they are sensitive to human activity. Disturbing Bald Eagles is against federal and state laws.
  • Observe closure areas and regulations.
  • Listen to Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch contractors you meet, as you do not want to disturb a breeding pair. Bald Eagles in Arizona breed typically from December through June.
  • Use appropriate pound test line while fishing, and replace fishing line yearly. The level of fishing line pollution in the Salt River is disgusting! Help remove it from the environment.

Remember when you are out in nature be a Ninja! Be invisible and leave no trace!

GET INVOLVED: Southwest Bald Eagle Management Committee Website: http://www.swbemc.org/ There are four ways you can get involved:

  1. Attend some or all of our events within the community.
  2. Become a bald eagle nestwatcher. Every year, the Arizona Game and Fish Department contracts around 20 individuals on behalf of the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee to monitor nests near high recreational use areas. These “nestwatchers” are stationed within the breeding area to ensure that human activity does not affect the breeding pairs. The contractors also collect data on each pair’s behavior, educate the recreating public, and alert biologists and law enforcement when a situation needs attention.
  3. Help financially support the efforts of the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee and eagle management throughout Arizona.
  4. Report sightings of bald eagles to: baldeagle@azgfd.gov

 

The Eaglet Banding Process

Eaglet Close-Up 001 WM
5 Week Old Eaglet Health Check-up
Talon Measuring WM
Measuring the Talons
Weighing WM
Weighing the Eaglet
Nest Cam WM
Nest Health Check

Video of the Banding Process

Some video of the Bald Eaglet banding and interviews with the biologists and nestwatchers.

Lake Pleasant Bald Eagle Banding

Video of the Bald Eaglet banding we attended at Lake Pleasant.

Eagle Biologists and Nest Watchers

Eagle Biologists Tuk, Kyle, and Jen with Nest Watchers Eduardo and his wife Letitia.

Arizona Game and Fish Workshops

Eric Proctor (Arizona Game and Fish Head of Education)
and Billy Ristuccia (Fountain Hills Birding ID Project)

Eric Proctor leads a number of wonderful workshops for educators you can sign up to attend called “FOCUS WILD”. For more information about his workshops visit FOCUS WILD webpage: https://www.azgfd.com/education/focuswild/workshops/