Bald eagle nest count surging in Pennsylvania

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 17, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The country’s national bird has been making a comeback in Pennsylvania for years, and a recent survey from the Pennsylvania Game Commission has found a record number of bald eagle nests.

The count tallies 254 nests, covering all but eight counties. Union County is the only county in the midstate without a report of a bald eagle nest.

It's the all-time high for the mid-year report and another check is due at the end of the year.

The Game Commission suspects more nests may exist.

Spokesman Travis Lau says the state's bald eagle population has really rebounded since 1983.

"It all started with 12 wild baby eaglets that were plucked from nests up there in Canada, and were hacked and re-introduced to the wild in two sites in Pennsylvania, including Haldeman Island, which is just north of Harrisburg."

A pair of adult bald eagles typically use each nest, meaning the state's count could top 500.

"Particularly in recent years, we've seen big jumps in the number of eagle nests, and the number of counties with nests. And that growth has continued and we expect it to continue," adds Lau.

Disturbing eagles is illegal under federal law.

The Game Commission says it takes reports of nests either through email or over the phone.

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