Audubon founded large-scale community science events more than 100 years ago with the first Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Conservation is too large of a task to be accomplished by a few biologists or conservation organization staff; success takes all of us working together to collect the data to inform effective conservation management decisions.
The dedicated Audubon EagleWatch volunteers are the heartbeat and lifeblood of our program, monitoring roughly half of the active nests in the state. This season, 480 community volunteers donated 7,530 volunteer hours for nest monitoring, data reporting, and in some instances, the rescue and transport of Bald Eagles in need of medical attention.
Volunteers submitted more than 14,900 nest observations, despite broad shelter-in-place mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Volunteers also play a key role in protecting nests and reported 90 potential nest disturbance violations this season due to development, recreational activity, and other human encroachment issues.
“Thank you for running the EagleWatch program. Before joining as a volunteer, I monitored the two nests that I still watch, but the data languished in my notebooks. I love watching the eagles return, lay their eggs, and raise their young. To see the eaglets grow, vigorously flap their wings, and finally take to the sky is a joy. That there is a place to record these observations enhances the experience. And, best of all is knowing that you and others are using my data for the betterment of these magnificent birds.” – Duffy Kopriva
Audubon EagleWatch volunteers and Bald Eagle protection are supported by Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities: Nature grants for the second year!