We conducted annual aerial surveys throughout the tidal reach of the Chesapeake Bay, USA, between 1977 and 2001 to estimate population size and reproductive performance for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The population increased exponentially from 73 to 601 pairs with an average doubling time of 8.2 years. Annual population increase was highly variable and exhibited no indication of any systematic decline. A total of 7,590 chicks were produced from 5,685 breeding attempts during this period. The population has exhibited tremendous forward momentum such that >50% of young produced over the 25-year period were produced in the last 6 years. Rapid population growth may reflect the combined benefits of eliminating persistent biocides and active territory management. Reproductive rate along with associated success rate and average brood size increased throughout the study period. Average reproductive rate (chicks/breeding attempt) increased from 0.82 during the first 5 years of the survey to 1.50 during the last 5 years. Average success rate increased from 54.4% to >80.0% during the same time periods. The overall population will likely reach saturation within the next decade. The availability of undeveloped waterfront property has become the dominant limiting factor for bald eagles in the Chesapeake Bay. Maintaining the eagle population in the face of a rapidly expanding human population will continue to be the greatest challenge faced by wildlife biologists.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 72 • No. 1