Bald Eagle nest numbers slightly down in Nebraska

Photo from NGPC/NEBRASKAland Magazine

The number of recorded active bald eagle nests in Nebraska was slightly less in 2013 than in 2012.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission nongame bird program manager Joel Jorgensen says that was a bit unexpected.

"We actually saw a little bit of a dip in our nest numbers. We actually saw the overall number of active nests go from 103 to 102 from the previous year. So I was a little bit surprised by that outcome. Usually we've seen increases over the last twenty years from year in and year out, so that was a little bit of a surprise."

Jorgensen says one explanation for the slight dip is that the historic drought during the summer of 2012 had a carry over effect into early 2013.

Bald eagles do different things at different times of the year.

"A lot of the pairs that nest in the state do remain in their territory for the year. We also have a lot of birds that nest up north come into the state during the winter season. And can be found wintering at places like Lake Ogallala or the J2 Power Return, and those sorts of sites. So there's different eagles doing different things in the state, particularly during fall and spring migration, and also the winter."

Bald eagle nest monitoring is conducted and coordinated by the NGPC, but also relies on cooperating agencies and trained volunteers to collect some of the data.

© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information