SREL Reprint #2053

 

 

 

Use of reservoirs and other artificial impoundments by Bald Eagles in South Carolina


A. Lawrence Bryan, Jr., Thomas M. Murphy, Keith L. Bildstein,
I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., and John J. Mayer.


Abstract

Active bald eagle nest territories in South Carolina increased from 12 in 1977 to 84 in 1993. Nest territories associated with reservoirs increased from one in 1982 to 29 in 1993. This was a significantly faster rate of increase than was the rate for territories not associated with reservoirs. Reservoir territories also produced significantly more fledglings per nest than a sample of non-reservoir territories in the ACE Basin. Eagle sightings on a newly constructed reservoir (L-Lake) increased steadily throughout the study, while sightings on the 33-yr old Par Pond were minimal until a partial drawdown of that site created more favorable foraging conditions. Bald eagles appear to be able to rapidly find and use both new reservoirs and newly conducive conditions at older reservoirs. Eagle us of these reservoirs did not appear to be linked to densities of waterfowl and marsh birds (as potential prey) or other fish-eating birds (as indicators of abundant fish).

SREL Reprint #2053

Bryan, A.L., Jr., T.M. Murphy, K.L. Bildstein, I.L. Brisbin, Jr., and J.J. Mayer. 1996. Use of reservoirs and other artificial impoundments by Bald Eagles in South Carolina. p. 287-298. In Raptors in Human Landscapes, edited by D.M. Bird, D.E. Varland, and J.J. Negro. Academic Press. London.

 

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