The Audubon Florida EagleWatch Program started in 1992 at the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland and now covers much of the state. Since urban eagle nesting activity in Florida has increased dramatically in the last decades, the Audubon EagleWatch Program seeks to:
1. Compile data for publication to document urban nesting activity.
2. Emphasize monitoring of urban pairs to record long-term nesting trends.
3. Identify potential threats to nesting success since most threats are related directly or indirectly to human activity.
Bald Eagle fledglings
Duval Audubon participates in the statewide program, monitoring nests in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties. The NE Florida program, coordinated by Ann Harwood-Nuss, also covers St. Johns and Putnam counties. The season runs from September to June. In the 2015-16 season in NE Florida there were 46 volunteers monitoring 39 nests. Although 5 deaths were reported, 32 eaglets fledged successfully. Two nests successfully fledged 3 eaglets after EagleWatch intervened when developers were interfering with the nests.
Despite delisting as an endangered species, eagles clearly still need advocacy and protection. It is estimated that the average fledge rate is 75% across the state and that only 50% of fledglings survive the first year, therefore, net gain is modest (~130). Development is a constant challenge, however, Audubon’s citizen science program is very effective tool with dedicated observers out there after storms, identifying threats, and getting the help to the birds as they need it.
For more information about Audubon Florida EagleWatch visit fl.audubon.org, Get Involved, EagleWatch.
Become a volunteer. You can download the registration document from the above site.