North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Get Your Eagle Eyes Ready

Author: NCWRC blogger/Friday, January 18, 2013/Categories: Blog, Conservation, Wildlife Watching

Bald eagle watching is exciting any time of the year, but if you need some motivation to watch these majestic birds, we have it. January is National Bald Eagle Watch Month across the country.

North Carolina is now agood place to watch bald eagles, thanks to restoration projects begun in the early 1980s.

The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, through the North Carolina income tax check-off, helped fund the Wildlife Resources Commission’s first nongame wildlife biologist. One of the first conservation projects undertaken by the nongame wildlife biologist was restoring bald eagles at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in 1983.

Before 1982, North Carolina had no breeding pairs of bald eagles. Because of the eagle restoration work, and the expansion of eagle populations in neighboring states, North Carolina now has more than 125 nesting pairs.

Where to Look

The Commission offers eagle viewing opportunities at its wildlife observation platform at Jordan Lake, off Martha’s Chapel Road in Chatham County. The site has wetlands where observers can spot salamanders and frogs, and a platform jutting into the lake where wildlife watchers can view eagles, ducks and other birds.

The North Carolina Birding Trail can also offer some guidance on where to see eagles. Its database allows users to search for birding sites across North Carolina. Eagles have been spotted at Lake Raleigh, Blue Jay Point Park, Falls Lake and dozens of other places across the state.

You can also see eagles without leaving the house. The Jordan Lake EagleCam offers a real-time view of a nest at Jordan Lake. 
 

How to Help

You can help North Carolina’s bald eagles by giving this tax season, or any time of year. 
 

Funding for the Commission’s bald eagle research and management comes from the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, which supports wildlife research, conservation and management for animals that are not hunted and fished. Although tax check-off donations target projects benefiting nongame animals and their habitats, games pecies such as deer, turkey and bear also benefit because they share many of these same habitats.

North Carolinians can support this effort, as well as other nongame species research and management projects in North Carolina, by:

  • Donating through the Tax Check-off for Nongame and Endangered Wildlife on their N.C. State Income tax form;
  • Registering a vehicle or trailer with a N.C. Wildlife Conservation license plate.
  • Donating online at www.ncwildlife.org/give.

Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife

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