eagle on the mend

A bald eagle found near death near Mount Joy is on the mend at Raven Ridge Wildlife Center.

In early July, the Pennsylvania Game Commission typically sends out a bald eagle nest count. This year, there was no list. 

The game commission wants your help in counting the nests.

Before 2014, bald eagles were at such a low nesting count that the game commission created a recovery plan that tried to get the nest count above 150.

In 2014, the game commission counted 275 pairs. Since then, the population has grown substantially.

"The bald eagle continues to be one of the greater success stories for conservation," said Sean Murphy, state ornithologist with the state game commission. 

People can submit bald eagle nest sightings to the game commission website. Once the submission is approved, it will appear on an interactive map on its website.

According to the game commission's map, Lancaster County has 42 bald eagle nests as of July 11. You can find the map here.

bald eagle map

Each blue dot represents a bald eagle nest.

"The online tool maximizes on how charismatic this species is," Murphy said. "It has this recovery that everyone has been able to bear witness."

Bald eagles have federal protections, which is one of the reasons why it's important for people to submit any bald eagle sightings. When the area is cataloged, that tree, as well as surrounding trees up to 30 feet, is protected from disruption and destruction.

Knowing where bald eagle nests are "connects the public with the natural world," Murphy said. "Not just with conservation efforts and recovery, but just serving as a channel to get people connected with nature."