Bald Eagle Population Soaring on Channel Islands
Monday, May 31 2010 @ 01:10 AM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
by URCA News Staff and Randy White
(Ventura, CA) - A program to restore the bald eagle population on California's Channel Islands has reached a new milestone.
This week, biologists banded and tagged two bald eagle chicks that will soon leave their Pelican Harbor nest on Santa Cruz Island, just off the coast of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
The banding event—to attach wing tags and radio and satellite transmitters—was viewable over the National Park Service's live webcam.
On neighboring Santa Rosa Island, two other chicks have hatched in nests for the first time in over 60 years. A record number of successful bald eagle nests is being celebrated this breeding season.
"It's very exciting" Yvonne Menard with the National Park Service told Your California Show regarding the growing population of bald eagles on the islands.
DDT poisoning in the middle of the 20th century caused the thinning of egg shells for some bird species, including the bald eagle. As a result, the birds were unable to reproduce. The eagles that once flourished on the Channel Islands "disappeared" Menard said.
But now, there are six bald eagle chicks expected to fledge, or leave the nest, in the next few weeks on the northern Channel Islands. That will bring the number of bald eagles in that area to about 40 birds.
(Picture: Screen shot taken of live web cam - Eagle's Nest on Channel Islands National Park)