Wednesday, July 2, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa.-- At its midway point, Game Commission officials have reason to believe 2014 just might go down as the "Year of the Pennsylvania Bald Eagle" for Pennsylvania.
In January, the Pennsylvania Game Commission removed the bald eagle from the state's list of threatened species.
Now, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reports its mid-year inventory of bald-eagle nests show the species population is still growing in the state. Each year, just before the Fourth of July, the Game Commission releases a preliminary count of bald-eagle nests statewide.
So far this year, 254 bald-eagle nests have been documented in Pennsylvania, with nesting eagles present in at least 59 of the state's 67 counties.
The number of nests and the number of counties with nests both are all-time highs for the mid-year report, according to the Game Commission.
Researchers say 22 of the 254 nests reported so far this year are attributed to adult pairs that have not previously been documented as nesting in Pennsylvania. That's an increase over last year's numbers.
In 1983, when the Game Commission launched a seven-year reintroduction program, only three bald-eagle pairs were nesting statewide. Today, there are 254 with more remaining to be counted.