Georgia releases results of 2020 bald eagle survey

Around 170 nests were surveyed this year. Here is what the Georgia Department of Natural Resources found.
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 9:47 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The results are in: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources released its 2020 bald eagle survey Monday.

The agency said 170 nests were surveyed across the state. According to the agency, “By the end the 2020 season, survey leader Dr. Bob Sargent and DNR helicopter pilots Capt. Steve Turner and Lts. Jaye Bridwell and Robert Steht had peeked into nearly 170 bald eagle nests, from Walker to Camden County. About half of the nests were in the six coastal counties, home to at least 35 percent of the state’s active nests.”

Bald Eagle survey results are in for 2020 from Georgia DNR
Bald Eagle survey results are in for 2020 from Georgia DNR(WRDW)

Data from the survey showed that 82 nests were successful with 126 young fledged. This data doesn’t tell us much unless we look at it compared to other years.

“The rate of 1.5 eaglets fledged per successful nest matched the long-term average. However, the percentage of successful nests and the number of young fledged per occupied nest territory were lower than average. In the northernmost counties, more than half of the area’s 15 nests failed to fledge young, and nest territories in the eastern region of the state fledged fewer young than average, too,” the agency said in a news release.

One of the reasons for a below average year in north Georgia is thought to be tied to a very wet winter and spring. Most of the northern region in the state saw more than twice their average rainfall during the nesting season. We felt this too here in the CSRA with well above normal rainfall from January through April. The press release went on to add, “abnormally wet weather combined with typical winter cold snaps often results in chilled eggs and eaglets, which can also increase the rate of nest failures.”

If you would like to report an eagle nest near you, follow these steps:

“The public is encouraged to report eagle nests via online, by calling 478-994-1438 or by emailing If you see an active eagle nest, observe it from afar (at least 330 feet). Human presence near a nest can reduce food deliveries to young, frighten them out of the nest before they are able to fly, and possibly lead to their deaths.”

To view the full news release, click here:

Bald Eagle survey results are in for 2020 from Georgia DNR
Bald Eagle survey results are in for 2020 from Georgia DNR(WRDW)

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