By the Numbers: Bald Eagles in Vermont
Vermont bald eagles nested in record numbers in 2017. That's the word from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Twenty-one pairs of adult bald eagles produced 35 young in Vermont in 2017, a modern-day record. The species remains on Vermont’s endangered species list, but another strong year of growth has biologists hopeful for their continued recovery.
Bald eagles typically nest along significant water bodies where fish and other aquatic foods are readily available. In Vermont, most bald eagle nests are found along the Connecticut River, Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, and some other large inland bodies of water.
In 2002, the first Vermont eagle nest was discovered after a 60-year absence. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that the first eagle fledgling successfully left its nest. Eagle numbers have been steadily increasing since then, giving hope to their full recovery in the near future. “Vermont’s bald eagles continue to recover thanks to improved habitat conditions, especially water quality and forested shorelines. These conservation efforts would not be successful without the interest and support of the public for these nesting areas by maintaining a respectful distance from the nests,” said John Buck, bird biologist for Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “People have reported seeing large numbers of bald eagles migrating through the state, including many juvenile eagles that have remained in Vermont and may someday nest here.”