on Feb 18, 2011 12:00 AM • Views 5426
Media Contact: Carolyn Rickard, Public Information Officer
(919) 707-0124

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 18, 2011) – A camera mounted above a nest in a pine tree along the shore of Jordan Lake is giving viewers a birds-eye view of a bald eagle couple as they raise their two chicks.

The eagle camera streams constant footage of the eagle family’s activities. Citizen scientists can submit logs of what they observe on camera to N.C. State University, which coordinated the project through its Cooperative Fish and Widlife Research Unit. The Wildlife Resources Commission is one of several partners that on the project. For more information, visit http://www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam/.

Biologists hope that giving people a chance to view the nest – located on the N.C. Widlife Resources Commission’s Jordan Lake Game Lands – from the comfort of their desks at home, school or work will pique interest in this once-endangered species.

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  and  one of the first projects undertaken was a bald eagle restoration project at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in 1983.

“Twenty-eight years ago, North Carolina had no breeding pairs of bald eagles,” said Perry Sumner, a biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “It is really a testament to the efforts of the Commission and our partners that we have restored the population of this species to this point. The eagle cam is a great way for citizens to see the success of this amazing bird.”

The state has more than113 nesting pairs today.

The Commission also 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.

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, game species 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.