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The Bald Eagle in Oklahoma

Nesting Eagles

Bald eagles have two subspecies-the northern race and the smaller southern race. Historically, eagles nesting in Oklahoma were probably the southern subspecies. During the last century, numbers of nesting eagles have decreased in our state coinciding with a general decline in eagles nationwide. However, since 1975, bald eagles have made a number of nesting attempts in Oklahoma. Between 1976 and 1992, bald eagles made 25 known nesting attempts here, but only seven were successful, producing 13 young. Researchers hope to discover why these birds are not more successful at raising their young.

The Nongame Wildlife Program assisted in the release of nearly 100 southem bald eagles in eastern Oklahoma between 1985 and 1990, with a record mass release of 61 birds in 1990. Nongame biologists transported eggs from Florida bald eagle nests to the Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville. Several weeks after hatching the young eagles were placed in hacking towers and eventually released into the wild. It is hoped that they will return as adults and raise their young in the state.

What to do if you see an eagle nest: Bald eagle nests are huge structures of sticks, usually built near the top of a large tree not far from the water. It will be tended by two adult eagles between April and July. If you think you have found a bald eagle nest, report it by calling (405)521-4616. STAY AWAY FROM THE NEST AREA! As with all raptors, nesting eagles are easily disturbed and may abandon a nest if approached.

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