Help conserve Texas eagle populations with this citizen science project

Way of life // travel and outdoors

An American bald eagle, nesting near a main road along Texas 29 in Llano County doesn’t seem bothered by the attention of tourists and birdwatchers from across Texas. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)

Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

January is bald eagle nesting time in Texas, with typically one to three baby eaglets in each nest. A new project with Texas Nature Trackers is helping scientists examine and collect information on the status of bald eagle and golden eagle nesting sites across Texas.

Texas Nature Trackers, a contingent of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is a citizen monitoring effort that connects nature lovers of all ages. The organization calls on those who are able to observe a given nest during the breeding season to submit weekly photo updates to the project on the app. iNaturalist.

The information will provide “valuable data on the condition of the nest,” according to the project page. Although they are not eagles, updates from Osprey’s nests are also accepted.

A 2021 report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that U.S. bald eagle populations have quadrupled since 2009. Once on the brink of extinction in the 1960s, the species is now thriving thanks to conservation efforts. The population has grown from 417 known breeding pairs in 1963 to 71,400 breeding pairs in 2021.

For more information, visit iNaturalist online or download the app.


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