Recent Status of Florida's Bald Eagle Population and Its Role in Eagle Reestablishment Efforts in the Southeastern United States

We monitored bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nesting effort and success in Florida annually before, during, and after years when eggs were removed from selected pairs. Complete clutches were taken to promote renesting. Clutches were collected after >2 weeks of natural incubation. Incubation of collected eggs was continued artificially and resultant young were reared in captivity in Oklahoma. At 11-12 weeks, young were released at established hack sites in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Carolina. The goal of the project was to increase the nesting population in the southeast without adversely impacting annual production in Florida. From 1985-1992, 275 eagles were released. In 1991, the first nest resulting from the hacking effort was documented in Mississippi. Increases in nesting eagles in the other states have occurred and were perhaps, in part, a consequence of these releases. In Oklahoma (the only donor state where intensive monitoring has been conducted), 23 nests were active in 1997. Statewide nest effort and success in Florida bald eagles has remained stable during and following the period of egg removal.

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