It is stunning to see a bald eagle soar across Arizona skies. The eagle, our nation’s symbol, plummeted to endangered status when only 417 pairs were left in 1963. Thanks to tireless conservation efforts, this fish-eating raptor has rebounded and been removed from the endangered species list. (from https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/bald-eagle)
The recovery of the bald eagle shows that conservation efforts of captive-breeding programs, vigorous law enforcement and habitat protection work.
In the Lake Pleasant area, the Agua Fria arm was closed on Dec. 15, 2019, to protect our bald eagles. The Arizona Game and Fish Department asks people to respect the eagles and stay out of this area.
Viewing the eagles online, however, is encouraged. AZGFD offers a fascinating live-streaming Bald Eagle Cam and advises viewers to stay tuned, as things have been unpredictable this season.
According to information on the website, “The breeding pair has returned to the Lake Pleasant area, but this year they have chosen to start building a new nest across the lake from where they were nesting last season. The partially-built nest may or may not become their primary residence for the season, but they also may end up moving back to the original nest site. The new nest location is approximately 1/2 mile away from the camera, so the view will not be as up close as it was last season, but we can still keep any eye on this breeding pair throughout the mating season!”
AZGFD goes on to say, “During this breeding season, eggs may be laid and hatched at different times. That can lead to aggressive interactions between growing siblings and can result in injury or death within the nest. Furthermore, the Arizona Game and Fish Department likely will not intervene with the nest if and when problems arise. The department may also choose to temporarily interrupt the live stream, if needed. An intimate view into the lives of wildlife is a rare privilege and we hope you enjoy and learn from this experience. For questions about the web camera, email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
History of bald eagles at Lake Pleasant
A suspected bald eagle nest was first documented at Lake Pleasant in 1979, followed in 1984 by the first nesting attempt. The eagle pair was unsuccessful in producing young until 1993, when the new Waddell Dam was constructed. As of the 2018 breeding season, 28 young have survived to take their first flight, known as fledging.
Our thanks to AZGFD and Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute for information on bald eagles.
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