Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Louisiana's Nesting Bald Eagles

Hurricane Andrew, a Class 3 storm, entered St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, on 26 August 1992. Sixty-one (59%) of the state's bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest territories were within the storm path, and, following the hurricane, 18 of these were classified as destroyed. Aerial nest survey data for 4 nesting seasons (1990-1994) were used to evaluate the effect of Hurricane Andrew on bald eagle reproductive success in Louisiana. Mean annual production per active territory was 1.40 (range 1.20-1.66) and per successful nest was 1.66 (range 1.45-1.85). Productivity (young/active territory) for hurricane affected nests (HAN) did not differ from non-affected nests (NAN) for any year except 1993-94, when production was higher in the HAN. Production declined for all nests between 1991-92 and 1992-93, possibly as a result of severe winter weather. Hurricane Andrew probably had no short term effect on Louisiana's bald eagle population.

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