Photo by John Hall
Twenty-three young bald eagles fledged from 15 nests in Vermont
this year, giving Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologists
hope the species can be removed from the state list of endangered
species in the near future.
Our national symbol, the bald eagle, is staging a dramatic
comeback in the Green Mountain State. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife
Department reports that bald eagles had a very successful nesting
season this year with 15 nests documented in the state and 23
eaglets fledged - leaving the nest to be on their own.
"Last year a total of 13 eaglets fledged," said John Buck, the
state wildlife biologist in charge of migratory birds for the
department. "Three of this year's 15 nests were newly
discovered, and two of the nests produced three eaglets, which is
excellent when you consider that one or two is the norm."
Bald eagles first began nesting in Vermont in 2002 after a
60-year absence. Habitat loss and environmental contaminants,
such as DDT, were the cause of the alarming decline of bald eagles
here and throughout the country.
The Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Endangered
Species Act, and the Clean Water Act are important laws that were
instrumental in the recovery of the bald eagle across the US.
The bald eagle was removed from the list of endangered species at
the national level in 2007. It remains listed as an endangered
species in Vermont, as it does in many New England and surrounding
states, because its resurgence has come later than in many other
"Vermont has excellent eagle habitat and it has just taken
longer for the eagles to discover it," said Buck. "The reasons for
this are unclear but territoriality, disbursement patterns and
their five-year age at sexual maturity are likely involved."
"It is encouraging to see our eagles building more nests and
having higher productivity per nest," added Buck. "We will
continue to protect and monitor the success of bald eagles every
year in accordance with the Bald Eagle Recovery Plan. When it is
evident through nest distribution and productivity the eagle
population is capable of withstanding naturally occurring losses it
will be considered for de-listing in Vermont."