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Bald eagle production plummeted in Wisconsin in 2022

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  • Bald eagle production plummeted in Wisconsin in 2022


    Bald eagle production plummeted in Wisconsin in 2022
    A bald eagle nest watch program run by Madison Audubon found 65% nests in Wisconsin failed in 2022, compared to 19% from 2018 to 2021. Highly pathogenic avian influenza is suspected as the reason.
    Paul A. Smith
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Nove. 19, 2022

    Bald eagle nests in Wisconsin failed at an alarmingly high rate in 2022, according to data gathered by the state's largest and most intensive eagle nest watch program.

    Citizen scientists monitored 110 active eagle nests this year in central and southern Wisconsin as part of Madison Audubon's Bald Eagle Nest Watch program. Seventy-one of the nests – or 65% – failed to produce an eaglet to the fledgling stage.

    The 2022 data represented a huge and unexpected spike in nest failures, said Brenna Marsicek, Madison Audubon director of communications and outreach. Over the previous four years the failure rate was about 20%.

    Although the cause of all this year's nest failures will never be known, the main culprit is suspected to be the highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, circulating this year in North America...