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Report Bald Eagle Nest Sightings

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Even though bald eagle nests in North Dakota are more common today than in the past, the State Game and Fish Department is asking for help in documenting locations.

Sandra Johnson, Game and Fish Department conservation biologist, emphasizes the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings. “March and April is the best time to see an eagle nest, as eagles are actively incubating eggs,” Johnson said. “It may become difficult later in spring to see the nest because of leaves beginning to grow on trees.”

Johnson said it is easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size. “They stand out because of the large tree and the size of the nest,” she said.

 Historically, Johnson said eagle nests were found along the Missouri River. “Now they have been observed in more than half of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes, but also in unique areas such as shelterbelts surrounded by cropland or pasture,” she added.

Johnson estimates the state has around 100 active bald eagle nests, possibly more.

Nest observations should be reported to Johnson at (701) 328-6382, or by email at ndgf@nd.gov. Johnson asks observers not to disturb the nest, and to stay away at a safe distance. “It is important not to approach the nest as foot traffic may disturb the bird, likely causing the eagle to leave her eggs unattended,” she said.