AZGFD Bald Eagles
Lake Pleasant, AZ
Live Lake Pleasant, AZ Bald Eagle Nest Cam!
In Partnership with Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZFGD) • Powered by HDOnTap
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To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.
History of Bald Eagles in Arizona
Bald eagles in Arizona have experienced significant population increases since the species was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1978, when only 11 breeding pairs had been identified within the state.
Through multiple studies and intensive management projects to conserve and protect the species, the state’s bald eagle population has grown dramatically. This growth nationwide prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the bald eagle from the Endangered Species Act in 2007. However, continued threats to the population in the southwest require continued protective, coordinated management actions by the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee and implemented through the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
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Some of the management actions include a winter population count, occupancy and reproductive assessment flights, nest survey, the Nest Watch monitoring program, demographic studies and monofilament recovery program.
Learn more about Arizona's bald eagle management on AZGFD's website.
Bald Eagle Information
Bald eagles are distributed throughout North America, from Alaska to northern Mexico. They nest in trees, typically breeding near water where fish — its main food source — is readily available. In winter, the eagles will sometimes congregate in large numbers where waterfowl and fish are locally abundant.
In Arizona, most nesting bald eagles occur in desert habitats along the Salt River, Verde River and large reservoirs in the central part of the state, but can also be found along the Mogollon Rim, the White Mountains or even in urban environments. The birds will build nests on cliffs or trees, such as cottonwoods and sycamores.
In autumn, bald eagles migrate to Arizona from Canada, Wyoming, Montana and other states. Many spend winter at higher elevations near Flagstaff, but can also be found in good numbers at Roosevelt Lake and along the Salt River.
Bald eagles commonly live 10 to 20 years in the wild. Arizona’s oldest documented bald eagles include a female that bred at Alamo Lake from 1989 to 2009 and a male currently residing at Luna Lake, both of which reached 30 years of age.
Due to their size, bald eagles have few competitors. They can have aggressive, and sometimes fatal, interactions with other bald eagles over territory or food resources. Competing eagles may grapple in mid-air, locking their feet together and tumbling in a free-fall “helicoptering” motion toward the ground, only releasing at the last moment. While this behavior is rarely observed, eagles occasionally perish if they are unable to separate in time.
Nestlings and recently-fledged young are vulnerable to a variety of predators, including golden eagles, great-horned owls, bobcats and coyotes. Eggs are sometimes preyed upon by ravens or climbing mammals.
In late spring, when temperatures first exceed 100 degrees for several days, nestlings may succumb to dehydration and heat stress. Parasites such as ticks and Mexican chicken bugs may lead to disease or death in some nests. Mortality of bald eagles also occurs from human causes such as being hit by cars (likely while feeding on roadkill), electrocution from power lines and lead poisoning.
Young eagles are at the greatest risk during the first year of life, with 70 to 85 percent annual survival into their fourth year. Only about 30 percent survive to breeding age. However, the survival of adults is about 90 percent.
For more bald eagle information go to the AZGFD website.
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- December 17, 2018 - Cameras turned on for the season
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