Mission Statement

Bearing Witness to Local Natural History-- from the wildness of Indiana

Friday, December 21, 2012

Eagles Fly In Indiana--Morgan County

Eagles fly. . . and nest in Indiana. It is not unusual to see these magnificent raptors in most areas of Indiana. Before the recovery program began in 1985 in Indiana, these birds had not nested in the state since 1897. 

Between 1870 and 1970, over-hunting, habitat loss, and the now banned pesticide, DDT, were largely to blame for the eagle's rapidly declining population. Nesting Bald Eagles were extirpated by 1900. In 1985 Indiana's efforts to restore them began when 73 young bald eagles were reintroduced at Lake Monroe within a four year span. In 1991, the first successful nest was documented.
In 2007, the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalous) was removed from the state's endangered species list Today 100 pairs have been documented. 

What I believe was the last helicopter survey done by Division of Fish & Wildlife in 2010, documented active nests at four areas in Morgan County.
Reports of immature and adult bald eagles are frequent within Morgan County, Indiana. A couple of months ago I was driving near downtown Martinsville and pulled over to watch an adult with its white head & tail reflecting the sunlight, soaring low overhead.

You can access my Facebook Page to view photos I took recently of one of the nesting pairs near my home perched in a tree. I was able to photograph it from the road. This pair has nested five consecutive years in the same location.

The eagles in these images were photographed from the road as I was driving on Burton Lane near Indian Creek. I have to thank one of my nieces for alerting me to their presence.

The Bald Eagle has five recognizable different plumages: 
Juvenile: First Year
Basic I: Second Year
Basic II: Third Year
Basic III: Fourth Year
Adult: Its fifth plumage when four years old
(Raptors of Eastern North America: Brian K. Wheeler)

You can find out more about Bald Eagles at Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.

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