Pennsylvania has an abundance of bald eagles, and it needs help counting them | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pennsylvania has an abundance of bald eagles, and it needs help counting them

There are so many bald eagle nests in Pennsylvania right now, that the Pennsylvania Game Commission says it needs the public’s help with counting them.

“The population has expanded to a point where tracking individual nests is not feasible,” Pennsylvania Game Commission ornithologist Sean Murphy told TribLive on July 4.

This wasn’t always the case in the Keystone State. Back in 1983, there were just three nesting bald eagle pairs in Pennsylvania. Pesticides and other harmful chemicals decimated bald eagle populations in Pennsylvania and other lower 48 states. In the 1980s, states like Pennsylvania listed bald eagles as threatened and then introduced eagles back to forests in hopes of growing their populations.

Today, there are more than 300 nesting bald eagle pairs in the commonwealth, and the game commission says that Southwestern Pennsylvania is poised for more eagle growth. Pennsylvania has been so successful, the commonwealth stopped listing the bald eagle as threatened in 2014.

Pittsburgh has also seen success in maintaining and growing bald eagle populations. A breeding pair in Hays has been very active for several years now, and two nestlings recently took their first flight, in June. There is also a nest in Allegheny County’s North Park.

To help count bald eagles, residents who spot bald eagle nests can input location information into an online tool at the Pennsylvania Game Commission website. The best time to spot nesting eagles in Pennsylvania is from January to August.

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