A lot of people are not aware of it but Southwest Florida is a great place to view bald eagles. Our beautiful and graceful national bird has made an amazing comeback after being declared Endangered in the early seventies.
With more than 2,000 active nests Florida’s nesting population constitutes over eighty percent of the entire bald eagle population in the southeastern United States. Florida is home to more breeding southern bald eagles than any other state in the U.S. Southern Bald Eagles are much smaller than northern usually weighing eight to ten pounds and have a wingspan of six to seven feet.
According to the 2012 survey there are about 50 documented active bald eagle nests in Lee County alone. Bald Eagle Nesting Season is from October 1 through May 15 and you can check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission’s Eagle Nest Locator to find an eagle nest near you. We made a search and found that there are over 20 active nests in a 10 mile radius around our home!
We where able to observe and get some pretty great pictures of the bald eagle nest located in North Fort Myers. This nest is pretty famous in the are as it has a live cam installed, which is on 24hrs. It is home to two chicks: Hope and Honor. We watched in awe as they where fed by their parents and stretched their wings in the sun. This was a wonderful experience for the whole family and after “meeting them in person” we went back home to watch Hope and Honor on the live cam.
Here is a list of suggestions from The Eagle Institute regarding Bald Eagle observation etiquette:
When you head out to see eagles, keep in mind that human presence can stress the birds and cause them to waste precious energy that they need to survive. To avoid being disruptive, follow these basic tips:
• Stay in or near your vehicle at roadside viewing areas
• Move quickly and quietly to observation blinds, where you will be safely hidden from the birds’ view
• Avoid making loud noises, such as yelling, slamming car doors and honking horns
• Use binoculars or a spotting scope to view the birds from a comfortable distance
• Never attempt to make an eagle fly
You can watch Hope and Honor on the Bald Eagle Cam in North Fort Myers HERE. and follow them on their Facebook Page.
You can find active eagle nests in your area on the Eagle Nest Locator HERE.
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