Audubon Florida staff received a report of another auxiliary band resight for 2022!
The Bald Eagle was rescued on the front lawn of a busy elementary school in April 2018 after falling from its nest.
“His family was gone by the time he was ready to go back into the wild in June ‘18, so he was released on property near the Mission Inn Resort with another fledgling that was rescued in that area,” explains Shawnlei Breeding, Program Manager for Audubon EagleWatch. “K/20 was seen a month later in July in a backyard in West Virginia but not again until this sighting.”
Then, in March of 2022, photographer Ken Rohling saw K/20, now four years old, at the Citrus County Landfill, its bands clearly visible in photographs.
As part of a long-term cooperative study through the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, all rescued Bald Eagle fledglings treated by its Raptor Trauma Clinic receive a colored auxiliary leg band before release. The color designates the type of nest they came from: green bands for natural nests and black bands for nests on man-made structures. Audubon’s goal is to learn if the type of nest structure an eagle hatches in influences the type of nest structure it chooses as a breeding adult. This information will also help in future management and protections for Bald Eagles in Florida.
Since 2017, Audubon has banded and released 85 fledgling Bald Eagles as part of this ongoing study. Each eagle that is rescued and released gets a second chance at life and the opportunity to contribute to the future of the wild population.
“Banding resights like this one brings us one step closer to understanding Bald Eagle nesting habits,” says Breeding. “We depend on community scientists to help us track these majestic birds.”
Thank you to all who were involved in the rescue, treatment, and release of Bald Eagle K20, as well as Ken Rohling for photographing the band.
Have you spotted a banded Bald Eagle? Make note of the band color, alphanumeric code if visible, and which leg the band is on and report this important information to the U.S.G.S. Bird Banding lab. This data helps researchers track longevity, migratory habits, habitat usage, and other vital population parameters.