With annual nesting surveys complete, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has recorded an increase in the state’s bald eagle population that exceeded expectations.
Jim Ozier, nongame program manager in the wildlife resources division, counted 124 occupied bald eagle nesting territories and 98 successful nests in helicopter surveys this year.
Last year, there were 112 occupied territories and 85 successful nests (those in which chicks are raised to the point where they can fly). Partway through the survey process, Ozier had said he hoped for just a few more nests than last year.
Thirteen new nests were documented, according to a DNR news release. Some were found through tips from the public.
Georgians who see either a bald eagle nest or two or more eagles together can download a form at www.georgiawildlife.com (click “Conservation,” “Species of Concern,” “Bird Conservation” and then “Report Nesting Bald Eagles”). Send the completed form to Jim Ozier, firstname.lastname@example.org or Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section, 116 Rum Creek Drive, Forsyth, GA 31029.