DEEP: Seven Bald Eagle Chicks Banded

Seven Bald Eagle Chicks Banded
Adapted from an article that appeared in the July/August 2002 issue of  Connecticut Wildlife.

{Wildlife biologist in tree holding eagle chick.}
Wildlife Division technician Geoffrey Krukar removes an eagle chick from the nest and prepares to lower it to the ground where biologists will examine it and attach leg bands.

Eight bald eagle pairs set up nests in five Connecticut counties this past nesting season. Only five of the pairs successfully hatched chicks. Seven of the chicks were recently banded and examined by biologists. 

Wildlife Division technician Geoffrey Krukar climbed the nest trees so that the chicks could be carefully lowered to the ground for examination. Once on the ground, the chicks were weighed and measured, and blood samples were taken to determine the general health of the birds and to detect the presence of heavy metals. The young chicks were fitted with an aluminum band on each leg—one of the bands is black and white and can be easily identified through a spotting scope. Attaching leg bands is a useful tool for wildlife managers because this technique allows them to trace local movements of individual bald eagles, estimate population changes and determine the species’ lifespan.

With the exception of 1996 when no chicks hatched in the state, Connecticut’s eagle pairs have produced 24 chicks since 1992 and the Wildlife Division has banded and examined 21 of the chicks as part of the management program for this state endangered species. The increased number of eagle pairs in Connecticut is consistent with the upward trend this protected species is experiencing nationwide.

The DEP Wildlife Division would like to thank the volunteers that helped with the time-consuming task of bald eagle monitoring: Don Hopkins, Jerry Mersereau, Mike O’Leary, Hank Golet, Ed Nash, Mary Beth Kaiser, Alan Nordell and Ned Pfieffer.

Bald Eagle Fact Sheet