DNR Surveys Show Bald Eagle Nesting Soaring In Georgia

Monday, April 01, 2013
Bald eagle populations are climbing in Georgia.

According to preliminary results, Georgia Department of Natural Resources aerial surveys in January and March documented 166 occupied nesting territories, 124 successful nests and 185 young fledged.

Those totals topped last year’s 163 nesting territories and 121 successful nests, while dropping slightly from 199 eaglets fledged. In 2011, there were 144 territories, 113 nests and 178 eaglets.

The number of bald eagle nests in Georgia has increased steadily, underscoring the rebound of our national bird from near-extinction through much of its range 40 years ago. Nests numbered in the single digits in Georgia when survey leader Jim Ozier started searching for them more than two decades ago.

This comeback was powered in part by Georgians who support the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund through their state income tax returns.  As this year’s tax deadline nears, those who haven’t filed are encouraged to contribute to the fund through the “Give Wildlife a Chance” state income tax checkoff.

Making contributions large or small through the checkoff – line 26 on Form 500 or line 10 on Form 500EZ – benefits the more than 1,000 Georgia plant and animal species listed as species of conservation concern, including bald eagles.

The large nests of these iconic raptors are showing up in new areas, including Jasper and Carroll counties this year, and more frequently in some coastal counties, such as Chatham, where Mr. Ozier documented six new nests for a county total of 25.

“It’s impressive. They’re really filling in the gaps there,” said Mr. Ozier, a Nongame Conservation Section program manager with the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division.

Although the number of young eagles statewide fell this year, Mr. Ozier said that change is not significant and fluctuations are expected.

The public is encouraged to let Mr. Ozier know about eagle nests they see, reporting them online (www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/eaglenest) or by phone (478 994-1438). These reports often lead to nests not monitored before. DNR works with landowners to help protect eagle nests on their property.

Bald eagles are no longer listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they are protected by federal and state law.

Eagle surveys are part the DNR Nongame Section’s mission to conserve nongame wildlife – native animals not legally hunted or fished for – and native plants and natural habitats. The section receives no state appropriations for this work. The Wildlife Conservation Fund checkoff provides significant support, accounting for 12 percent of fund revenues in fiscal year 2012.

All checkoff contributions help. Georgians can deduct contributions from refunds or add them to payments. They can also give when filing electronically or through a tax preparer. Go to www.georgiawildlife.com/TaxCheckoff for details. Please consult a tax professional about deducting contributions.


Ivy Academy Hosts Save Georgia’s Hemlocks For Free Hemlock Help Clinic

Ivy Academy will host Save Georgia’s Hemlocks’ Donna Shearer for a free Hemlock Help Clinic on Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.  Anyone interested in the community is welcome to attend. You will gain information about the invasive insect that’s killing our hemlocks, what can be done to save these valuable trees, and why it’s urgent to take action now.  You’ll learn how ... (click for more)

TDEC Announces Lifting Of Little Pigeon River Water Contact Advisory

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announces the lifting of a water contact advisory of the Little Pigeon River, downstream of Sevierville in Sevier County. Water contact advisories have also been lifted for several small tributaries to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon, including Gnatty Branch, Baskins Creek, King Branch, Roaring ... (click for more)

Berke Names Fred Fletcher, Of Austin, Tex., New Chattanooga Police Chief

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that Fred Fletcher of Austin, Tex., is his pick for Chattanooga Chief of Police. With 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Fletcher has served in an executive, command, or supervisory role for 12 years.  As commander in Region III of the Austin Police Department, Mr. Fletcher spearheaded community initiatives including a drug market ... (click for more)

Child, 23 Months, Found Dead In Crib With Fentanyl Patch On Back; Death Ruled Homicide

A 23-month-old Chattanooga boy has been found dead in his crib with a Fentanyl patch on his back. The death of Demarcus Bryant at 7655 Borris Dr. last month was ruled a homicide. An autopsy report says he died from "Fentanyl patch placed by someone else." Chattanooga Police are investigating. No one has yet been charged. The child was found face down in his crib. ... (click for more)

A Slap In The Face To Local Police Applicants

Little Andy has once again shown what he thinks about the Chattanooga Police Department by ignoring all the applicants from within the department. There were several great candidates within the police department that had as much experience as the chosen one from 1,000 miles away. This is a slap in the face for any officer who is at the Chattanooga Police Department who has aspirations ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Northwestern Players Vote

The National Labor Relations Board, 0-1 this week after the United Auto Workers cancelled a hearing one hour before it was to begin in Chattanooga, has another chance for a last-minute finish today. In what will be under a more harsh light, the Northwestern University football team is expected to vote on whether to become a union Friday morning. Yesterday afternoon there remained ... (click for more)