Pinellas eagle breeding season update and video from Barb
Barbara Walker sent this interesting report and video. Quite a success story. Where are all those new eagles going to find homes?
Volunteers and Friends:
Some of you are aware that we've had a banner year for Bald Eagles in Pinellas. Overall it has been an strong and early nesting season. In November two rescues took place. One near PI27 and the other at PI18. Both PI27 and PI18 were rehabbed and released. The rescue of PI18 was exceptional, the female eagle was banded. She had been previously rescued in 1996 in the same area. She had been shot and lived at the Audubon Bird of Prey Center for 2 years, until February of 1998. She was released NW of Brooksville. This time she was in a territory fight and was released NW of Brooksville again, to detain her or sidetrack her from returning to her nest, which is now occupied by another female eagle and newly hatched young. She was an adult back then and clinic staff felt she was in her 20's.
We've monitored 25 productive nests and 34 locations. PI30, 37 and 40 all incubated and hatched 3 and are raising 3 eaglets. It's pretty common for us to get 1, maybe 2 nests a year with 3 young, but 3 nests with 3 young is pretty extraordinary. PI14, 20 and 31 are all fostering eaglets, so each of those will be raising 3 eaglets as well. As of this evening, all parents are at the foster nests tending young. The total number of hatched eaglets from the 25 nests is 38, not counting the 3 which were added by tree climber extraordinaire, Jim Lott and fearless heroine, Lynda White. Without including the extra three the young to nest ratio is 1.52 with a couple of nests still not quite big enough to count. Adding in the 3 young we have 41 eaglets total in Pinellas County. The highest count I have from the historical North Pinellas notes is 27 eaglets in 06/07.
Our group also monitors portions of Hillsborough and Pasco. District 1 in Hillsborough has 3 nests, one is on land which is for sale with a Hillsborough BOCC meeting coming up, one is in a cell tower and the other is at MacDill AFB. One eaglet pre fledged from the MacDill nest today and was taken to the vet for further wing examination. Pasco nest PS14 is being continually monitored as the tree is leaning quite a bit and there are still flightless young in the nest. The hope is that the property owner, Progress Energy, will be able to come up with some solutions to help retain the nest on the property.
Thank you very much to all of you who are able to help. I really appreciate it. Hope you can take a moment to see and enjoy Kathy's photo show below. It is fabulous.