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.


Youth Hunter Injured In Hunting Accident In Grainger County

A 10-year-old boy from Knoxville was injured Monday evening after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while dove hunting at Buffalo Springs WMA in Grainger County. TWRA officers report that around 5:45 p.m., the young man accidentally fired his shotgun into his foot and was then air lifted to UT Medical Center in Knoxville with non-life-threatening injuries. Records ... (click for more)

Tennessee's 2014 Dove Season Opens Labor Day; Early Canada Goose Season Also Starts

Dove season opens on Labor Day, at noon (local time), which marks the annual start of one of Tennessee’s most long-standing outdoor sports traditions. Tennessee’s 2014 season is again be divided into three segments: Sept. 1 through Sept. 28; Oct. 11 through Nov. 2; and Nov. 29 through Jan. 6, 2015. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one-half hour before sunrise until ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)