Nesting Bald Eagles can impact the timing of transportation projects throughout the U.S. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation turned to our team to conduct surveys to comply with the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
During January, we visited more than 100 sites in 29 counties with potential or known Bald Eagle habitat. About 150 resident pairs of Bald Eagles live in Oklahoma. We recorded nest locations and the birds’ age ranges within a 1,000-foot-buffer of the planned transportation projects. No nests would be impacted. If we had found nests, construction may have been postponed until the chicks fledged.
Before beginning the surveys, our team received data that includes existing nests from the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, which tracks protected species occurrences. Then biologists traveled over 6,000 miles conducting surveys. We submitted our reports to ODOT, which coordinates with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.