[va-bird] 2005 Bald Eagle Survey completed

Bryan Watts and Mitchell Byrd from The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary have compiled the results of the annual bald eagle breeding survey for Virginia's Chesapeake Bay and major coastal tributaries. The number of known breeding pairs has increased 5.8% from 428 pairs in 2004 to 453 pairs in 2005. This represents the highest number of pairs ever recorded in the state. The 2005 survey is the 50th consecutive survey conducted in Virginia. The survey was initiated as a volunteer ground survey in 1956 but has been an aerial survey from 1962 to the present. A mild spring and high number of breeding attempts led to the production of a record 657 chicks, surpassing the previous high of 612 chicks set in 2004. The upper reaches of the James and Rappahannock Rivers continue to provide the most significant breeding habitat for bald eagles in the state.

The 2005 survey was funded primarily by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Center for Conservation Biology with additional support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Defense, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

We thank all of those in the community who have contributed information to the 2005 survey. The Center for Conservation Biology is always interested in information on the location of nesting pairs, particularly in the Piedmont and mountain regions of the state. We may be contacted by phone at 757-221-1645 or by the contact information provided on our website, http://www.ccb-wm.org

Bryan Watts



posted for Bryan by

Mike Wilson
Center for Conservation Biology
College of William and Mary
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
phone: 757-221-1649
fax: 757-221-1650
www.ccb-wm.org

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