News Releases

July 08, 2010

Bald Eagles Return to Vermont

WATERBURY, VT – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reports that five young bald eagles are being raised in Vermont by their parents and that if all goes well they should be leaving their nests sometime in July.

The spring of 2010 has seen a record nine bald eagle nests in Vermont with seven pairs of eagles confirmed to be nesting. Of the seven known nests, two nests failed to produce young. A nest and chick were destroyed by the major snow event that dropped nearly two feet of heavy snow in late April. Another nest failed for unknown reasons.

The first successful nesting of bald eagles in Vermont resulting in young leaving the nest in recent times occurred in 2008. Vermont was the last of the lower 48 states to have nesting eagles return after the drastic decline in bald eagles that resulted in them being designated an endangered species in the United States below the 40th parallel in 1967. There were only 417 breeding pairs in 1963. As a result of the ban on the pesticide DDT, protections and conservation efforts, nesting populations of bald eagles have been restored to all states in the continental U.S. There were nearly 10,000 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states in 2007. As a result, the bald eagle was removed from the Federal Threatened and Endangered list in 2007.

Bald eagle populations have steadily increased in neighboring New York and New Hampshire but for unknown reasons have been slow to become established in Vermont. Because of this the bald eagle remains listed by the State of Vermont as an endangered species.

Recovery efforts in Vermont began with a rearing and releasing program at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, VT that resulted in the fledging of 29 young eagles. To further promote eagle recovery, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is finalizing a draft recovery plan for bald eagles that will be available for public review in the very near future. The draft plan will be on the department’s web-site (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) with instructions for public comment.

If Vermont’s bald eagles follow the recent recovery paths of peregrine falcons, ospreys and common loons, prospects are excellent for a successful bald eagle recovery and their removal from the state’s endangered species list. In the near future the eagle could become a regular site in Vermont for all to enjoy.

Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: July 08, 2010 11:41:00