Bald Eagles Find Home

Tracey Maguire, environmental intern at the Nekoosa Mill, holds a young eaglet while working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

It’s always exciting to view bald eagles soaring over the landscape, and now we have a nesting pair and two eaglets at home in an oak tree on Domtar Property across the Wisconsin River from Nekoosa’s Riverside Park.

Bald eagles have made a tremendous comeback in Wisconsin over the past 40 years. In 1974, there were only 107 active bald eagle nests in the state. That number has increased to 1,279 active nests in 2014 (not counting the Mississippi River area).

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been conducting bald eagle nest surveys for decades.

A select group of the young eagles identified are chosen for additional study, which includes having DNR staff climb the nesting trees, carefully lower the young birds to the ground, give them a physical check-up, and band them for future study before returning them to the nest.

Two eaglets were identified in a nest on Domtar property near the Wisconsin River during the DNR fly-overs this spring, and this nest was selected for additional study by the DNR survey crew.

The DNR eagle crew examined the eaglets in late May, accompanied by Tracy Maguire, Nekoosa’s intern working in the Environmental Department. Each of the eaglets was identified as female, and each weighed over eleven pounds, at an age of two months. They were given a good bill of health by the study team, and we should expect them to be following their parents soaring in the sky over the Nekoosa area this summer.

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