Bald Eagle Breeding in Full Swing on the Channel Islands

bald eagles at CINP

Information provided by Channel Islands National Park

Webcam viewers are captivated this week watching two tiny bald eagle chicks that hatched 14 hours apart in a nest at Sauces Canyon on Santa Cruz Island. The eaglets may be joined by a third chick, with an egg expected to pip in the same nest today or Friday.

There are 13 active bald eagle nests, with at least 22 known eggs laid thus far in the breeding season. The nests include two on Santa Rosa Island, five on Santa Cruz Island, five on Catalina Island, and one on San Clemente Island.

“This is a great start to the bald eagle breeding season,” said Dr. Peter Sharpe with the Institute for Wildlife Studies. “Since I joined the bald eagle restoration project on the Channel Islands over 21 years ago, I have seen the number of breeding pairs increase from just three to potentially 21 active breeding pairs this year.”

Currently, there are estimated to be between 50 to 60 bald eagles on the Channel Islands, which includes at least 45 adults (over five years old) and a variety of younger eagles.

There are five bald eagle webcams that capture the daily growth, feeding habits, and behaviors of the Channel Islands birds. They are available thanks to the generous support of explore.org and iws.org.

Explore Annenberg installed new cameras for some of the webcams, which now provide dramatic close-up views of the bald eagles and increased viewing quality.

Bald eagles disappeared from the Channel Islands in the 1960s due to the effects of DDT and human persecution. The increasing number of bald eagles due to recovery efforts on the Channel Islands is evident from the growing number of bald eagle sightings on the mainland. This year, Channel Islands birds have been seen far and wide, from British Columbia and Oregon to numerous destinations throughout southern and central California.

To view the bald eagle webcams, visit explore.org and iws.org/livecams.

View a recording of the Sauces Canyon Bald Eagle chicks hatching below!

Partners in Restoration

Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP), a multi-agency program dedicated to restoring natural resources harmed by DDTs and PCBs released into the environment in southern California, funds bald eagle restoration efforts. MSRP is overseen by representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Lands Commission, and California Department of Parks and Recreation. montroserestoration.noaa.gov

The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife species, is involved in conservation projects around the world. IWS has conducted bald eagle restoration on Catalina Island for nearly 40 years. iws.org

The Explore Annenberg LLC is a charitable, nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the selfless acts of others, create a portal for the education of humanity and inspire lifelong learning. Explore uses the power of the internet, images, music, dialogue and the written word to fulfill its mission. Explore offers a portal for public viewing of live video and live webcams at explore.org.

Landowners that support restoration efforts include the National Park Service (NPS) as the manager on five of the eight California Channel Islands, The Nature Conservancy who jointly owns and manages Santa Cruz Island with the NPS, the Catalina Island Conservancy for Catalina Island, and the U.S. Navy on San Clemente Island.

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