Audubon EagleWatch observations revealed most eagles that lost nests to Hurricane Irma went on to successfully rebuild and raise young. EagleWatch data also indicate the average number of young produced is holding steady at 1.31 fledglings per occupied nest, compared to 1.32 last season. More pairs attempted to nest this year than last. Successful nesting attempts were down slightly, however (85 percent this year compared to 89 percent last year) along with a slight decrease in the fledge rate, or number of hatchlings that survived to fledge (92 percent this year compared to 94 percent last year). Pairs that hatched and fledged two chicks increased almost 10 percent compared to last season, helping keep productivity rates stable this year. Overall, Florida’s population of nesting eagles remains healthy and strong.
Celebrating Audubon’s 600th Bald Eagle Release
In June, the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey released its 600th rehabilitated Bald Eagle back into the Florida skies. The eagle was rescued in Maitland in March after a concerned citizen found it while out for a walk. The eagle had puncture wounds on his face and beak, significant wounds on his wings, minor wounds on the feet (all due to a territory fight), and lead poisoning. After three months of treatment, many gathered to celebrate this milestone as he took to the skies again. Audubon EagleWatch works closely with our Raptor Trauma Clinic to track eagle injury statistics, and our nest monitoring data are used to locate suitable release locations for rehabilitated eagles.