The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is asking for help in locating active bald eagle nests across the state.
According to Sandra Johnson, conservation biologist for Game and Fish in Bismarck, the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings.
Eagles lay eggs in early to mid March, and the eggs hatch about a month later. Johnson said it’s easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size.
“And you don’t have to travel far to find one, as we have around 270 active bald eagle nests, and possibly more, in the state,” Johnson said. By comparison, in 2008, North Dakota only had 50 active nests.
Eagle nests are observed in more than three-fourths of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes. They also are found in unique areas such as shelterbelts surrounded by cropland or pasture.
Nest observations should be reported online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. Observers are asked to not disturb the nests and to stay a safe distance away. Johnson said foot traffic may disturb the birds, likely causing the eagles to leave their eggs or young unattended.