The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is looking for some help in keeping track of the resurgent bald eagle population. There was only one known eagle nest in the state in 1977, but efforts to bring them back have worked. D.N.R. wildlife biologist Stephanie Sheppard says those efforts have made it tougher to keep track of the birds.
Sheppard says in the 1990’s there were 50 to 75 nests and the D.N.R. could keep track of them, but now that number is around 254 and the D.N.R. doesn’t have the staff to keep track of them. She says they’re asking for people to adopt one of 54 eagle nests and monitor them.
Sheppard says that will give them data they can rely on year-to-year. She says they are particularly interested in if the nest is active, and if there are young birds. Eagles only nest once a year, so it is important to see how the nests are doing. Sheppard says they want to see the bird continue to flourish. She says eagles are doing great, but they want to be sure they stay that way and keep an eye on them. Sheppard encourages anyone who is interested to check out it out.
You can call Sheppard at 515-432-2823, or you can go to the D.N.R. website and see where the nests are located. Go to iowadnr.gov and use the non-game link. The D.N.R. has scheduled three training workshops in Jasper, Woodbury and Page counties for those who’re interested.