2019 a record year for N.J. bald eagles, survey finds

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It was a record year for New Jersey’s bald eagles, a study released by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife found.

A survey by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey in partnership with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife found that New Jersey bald eagles registered the highest recorded number of active nests and young fledged.

According to the survey, 238 eagle nests were monitored, of which 189 were active (laid eggs) and 248 young fledged, surpassing the previous high of 216 set in 2016.

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey credited the “extremely dedicated group” of 85 volunteers that monitor nests, recording important dates and watching for potential issues.

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During the 1980s, there were only a few bald eagle nests, according to state data. Officials have pinned the bald eagle recovery on the banning of the pesticide DDT and protective federal regulations.

“The bald eagle is a shining example of recovery in New Jersey,” according to a state Division of Fish & Wildlife report. “In 1973, when the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act was passed, there was just one nesting pair, in a remote forest in Cumberland County.”

Chris Spiegel, an Ocean Grove based photojournalist and owner of Blur Revision Media Design, has documented the happenings in one Shore nest. He has captured images in 2012 and 2013.

But he’s very careful to not disturb wildlife, adamantly refusing to reveal the location of his subjects.

For more information about raptors in New Jersey, visit here.

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