The 47th annual bald eagle productivity survey within Voyageurs National Park showed a slight drop in chicks that survived to fledge, compared to last year.
Park staff report surveying in late July 88 nests within the boundaries of the park, with 27 of those occupied by breeding eagles that hatched at least one chick. The nests produced at least 31 eagle chicks that survived to fledge, or develop wing feathers that are large enough for flight.
The report from the park last year said more than 100 nests were surveyed, of which 31 were occupied by breeding eagles that hatched at least one chick. These nests produced at least 40 eagle chicks that survived to fledge.
With completion of the eagle nesting period, all of the park’s 291 developed visitor use camping and houseboat sites are now reopened for public use. Two were temporarily closed in April and May to protect bald eagle nesting pairs.
VNP natural resource managers follow the conservation management actions of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Management Act. Each year since 1992, the park has temporarily closed the land and water areas around active bald eagle nests to visitor use during their critical nesting periods.
Recent published research, conducted by Voyageurs National Service staff in collaboration with scientists from the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Geological Survey, demonstrated that the recovery of bald eagles in Voyageurs National Park has resulted in declines in other bird species, specifically osprey and great blue herons. More information on the study can be found at https://wildlife.org/bald-eagle-recovery-hinders-osprey-heron-populations/.