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Eagle Watch Program 2011-2012 Season

The 2011-2012 EagleWatch Monitoring season started a bit sad. While doing the initial scouting of her assigned nest, our volunteer Monica Spires found a young eagle dead on the side of the road south of Alturas. As usual, I went to pick up the bird, just to find that its death may have been caused by electrocution. The bird was found directly under high voltage transmission lines. We had a weird season in the fact that birds started nesting early, but then suddenly abandoned incubation in mid December after some cold weather that moved through. We were all alarmed by the event, but then by the end of January, the birds were back in business and our last monitored pair fledged their eaglets in early June. Although they were a bit late, most of them were successful.

In between January and May, we rescued 8 eagles; some came with broken clavicles, others with avian pox. The pox continues to be a concern among eaglets. The little guys are highly susceptible to the disease that causes scar-like lesions around the face and can even cause their death. Three cases of pox eaglets were rescued and treated. Some of the other injuries involved eaglets that flew into man-made structures. One case came from Bartow, nest PO203, which is located on a celltower. The eaglet apparently tried to fly back to the nest and collided with the tower resulting in a substantial fall. Unfortunately, the damage was beyond repair. A similar case came from Dundee (PO167), a nest located on a "dish" platform on the side of US27. I was alerted that one of the eaglets had left the nest. I went to investigate and could not locate the eaglet. Two days later, I got the call that the second eaglet had fallen from the platform. Both of these birds were transferred to the Center for Birds of Prey. Of the birds that were taken to the hospital, two were released back in Polk, one of them made the news as it was release #450. I personally rescued that bird from Willowbrooke Golf Course in Winter Haven, a nest being monitored by Natalie Alexich. The iconic bird marked the 450th bird returned to the wild by the Center for Birds of Prey and also Lynda White's retirement as the EagleWatch Program Coordinator. After so many years of hard work orchestrating the programs, presentations and releases, it was time for Lynda to take a break. Everybody that knew her will definitely miss her.

At the end, we came out with a relatively successful season despite the losses. More than 65 nests were surveyed and at least 30 of them were monitored throughout the season. I hope we can gather more volunteers to cover some other areas that are still missing. With more than 200 nests in Polk, we have plenty of eagle nests to watch. Please invite a friend or a neighbor to participate. We also made the news few times. See the articles on the right column. I hope to see you all soon to welcome new volunteers for the 2012-2013 season. By the way, most of our eagles came back by the end of July, which means we'll have a longer season than usual.

Thank you for all your support.

Reinier Munguia
Lake Region Audubon Society
EagleWatch Volunteer Coordinator (POLK)

Click on the image above to download summarized data for

Here are some pics from the
2011-2012 season

The Ledger - Eagle Release 450
Polk State College News
A bad case of avian pox. Notice the damage to
the bill.
One of the first rescues of the season came from Haines City. Jeannie Carroll is holding the rescued eagle.



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