Another record year expected for bald eagles on the James

One of the best places to see a bald eagle in Richmond is along scenic Riverside Drive, just west of the Boulevard Bridge. An island just east of the Atlantic Coast Line Bridge has a tall pine tree with a nest.

A writer for the College of Williams and Mary website revealed that another record year for bald eagles on the James River is expected for 2011:

The bald eagle breeding population along the James River has set a new record, with 165 breeding pairs of the birds documented in early March.

That number, likely to increase, has surpassed the 154 breeding pairs spotted last year on the James River. The figures were recently announced by Bryan Watts, director of the Center for Conservation Biology. The center conducts an annual series of low-altitude flights in a small plane to spot nests of the birds.

For the past half century, the Center has documented the bald eagle’s return to the James River and Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The James is the only major tributary within the Chesapeake Bay watershed in which the bald eagle population was completely lost, Watts said.

Remember, Juneau, Alaska, and Richmond are the only state capitals with a nesting pair of bald eagles within the city limits!

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