Friday, December 26, 2008

Go See the Eagles

Bald eagle numbers had dwindled in Alabama. In the Tennessee valley there were none. An effort to bring back the population was started in 1985 with the first release of young birds; the program ran through 1991. It started with four young eagles that were released from the Mud Creek Hacking tower on the Mud Creek embayment of Lake Guntersville in 1985. A total of ninety-one eagles were released in Alabama. In 2007 it was estimated that there were around one hundred nesting pairs in the state! The program exceeded anyone's wildest hopes! It started out slow with several years of unsuccessful nesting starts, but in 1991 two nests succeed in producing fledged offspring! It has been going like gangbusters since.

One of the original hacked birds, a female, nests near the Guntersville dam. She does not seem to mind the proximity to people. Her head is yellowish that is how you can identify her. Older bird's white feathers yellow with age.

There are eagles year round on Guntersville Lake. Many of the nesters stay as residents, but right now is the highest the local population will be for the year with the influx of winter migrants. The migrants are mostly from the Great Lakes regions and they will return there starting in February.

For a great opportunity to see and learn about bald eagles come to Guntersville and stop by the park. Keep an eye out for eagles all along the Tennessee River in Alabama. If you cannot get to Guntersville, Pickwick Lake is another excellent spot to see eagles.

To see the Lake Guntersville State Park's Eagle Awareness 20009 Brochure go to:

1 comment:

troutbirder said...

I love eagles. We have many now in our state and especially along the Mississippi. Did several post on the National Eagle Center in Wabasha Minn. Thanks for sharing.

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