N.J. bald eagle population continues to rise, survey finds

    A bald eagle pair in a Jersey Shore nest. (Photo: Chris Spiegel/Blur Revision Media Design)

    A bald eagle pair in a Jersey Shore nest. (Photo: Chris Spiegel/Blur Revision Media Design)

    It was another good year for New Jersey’s bald eagles, a study released by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) of New Jersey found.

    Highlights of the 2016 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report, which provides the number of nesting pairs, active nests, and nest productivity for the raptors throughout New Jersey, include 172 nest sites (up from 161 in 2015), 15 new pairs, and 150 active pairs with eggs.  

    A record 216 young were produced from 132 nest sites, which is above the required range for population maintenance, according to the survey.

    During the 1980s, there were only a few bald eagle nests, according to CWF. Officials have pinned the bald eagle recovery on federal regulations.

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    “The bald eagle is a shining example of recovery in New Jersey,” according to a state Division of Fosh & 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. 

    “Since these birds are so rare and they are very easily negatively influenced by human activity, the DEP has cordoned off the area around this bald eagle nest. I was told of its location in confidence that I wouldn’t share it with the public,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Please don’t ask me where these were taken. I will not acknowledge questions or guesses about its whereabouts. Please respect this.”

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

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