In late summer and early fall our bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) begin returning to their nest sites, though Oct. 1 is considered the official start of nesting season in Florida.
SCCF monitors 11 nest sites on Sanibel, Captiva, and North Captiva with the help of volunteers. Data is collected and reported to Audubon Florida’s Eagle Watch Program. The photo here, taken by Gary Biltgen, is of the pair that are often seen at the Donax cell tower.
Bald eagles are known to maintain multiple nest sites and alternate use of them. Although we currently monitor 11 nest structures, there are only seven known pairs actively nesting. Since many eagle nests are on private property or in remote locations, volunteers for the monitoring program typically live near a nest. If you know of a nest near you and are interested in becoming a volunteer monitor, let SCCF Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht know at email@example.com and she can help coordinate.
Have you seen any bald eagles recently? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.