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EAGLE WATCH PROGRAM 2010-2011 Season

This was our first year hosting the Eagle Watch Program at the Lake Region Audubon Society. All data collected was submitted to the Eagle Watch Program and the FWC. This data is important in determining the population dynamics and range in Florida.

Twenty-one people participated in this first season and more than 40 nests were checked initially to determine their status. Nearly 25 nests were monitored by our Eagle Watch volunteers. Several birds were rescued and transported to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey during the season. Most of these birds were later released.

Just as we were getting into the peak of the season, we helped with relocating a young eaglet from a fallen nest in Osceola County. The lucky bird was transported from the Center for Birds of Prey to his new home in Winter Haven at nest PO208. Thanks to the careful observations made by volunteer Becky Richardson we were able to get a match for this eaglet.  On January 19th the eaglet was hoisted up the tree by Jim Lott, the official tree climber/eagle delivery guy at the CBOP.  The transfer was successful and the new parents took the new baby without problems. The foster bird as well as original chicks fledged successfully. Unfortunately there were some sad moments too. During a sudden storm  in the late afternoon of March 31st,  nest PO046 collapsed.  Susan Schenk and I started a recovery search at 8:00am.  As soon as we arrived we found one of the eaglets dead about 15 feet SW from the nest tree. One hour later and almost ready to give up the search, I found the second bird alive but shaken. The bird was found to be in good shape, and close to becoming a flyer.  She was later released by PO151 where she was received by two other youngsters of about the same age. Another young bird that had just fledged collided with power lines and died in Bartow. This bird was one of two born on a cell tower.

Several issues and possible violations to the protection act involving eagles nesting were also reported in the county.  We conducted a survey flight to confirm two new nests on cell towers and to document two problem nests.  The number of birds nesting on cell towers is increasing as the number of suitable trees is decreasing.  The long-term effects of cell towers on the species are yet to be known, which is why it is important that we continue our observations.

I appreciate all the help our volunteers gave us with their observations and transporting injured birds. Thank you so much for all your help.

Reinier Munguia
Lake Region Audubon Society

Cell tower nests are hard to identify from the ground as they usually do not contain much nesting material. A fly- over revealed two new cell tower nests in Polk.





Here are some pics from the
2010-2011 season

Lynda White holding the youngster being relocated to PO208 in Winter Haven.
Young eagle ready for release by PO151
Adult from PO208 low fly-by.
Mary Thornhill from Winter Haven observed PO149. These were early birds as they left the nest the second week of January.
Photography © R. Munguia/



115 Lameraux Road ∙ Winter Haven, Florida 33884 (863) 259-8497