New Jersey’s bald eagle population soared to new heights in 2020

The bald eagle population in New Jersey soared to new heights in 2020, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

While 2020 was extremely rough on all of us, it made no difference on the United States’ national bird.

Bald eagles thrived in New Jersey thanks to help from both the federal and local government and conservation work from volunteers.

For the first time, nesting pairs have been confirmed in all 21 of the state’s counties.


In 1973, the number of bald eagles in the state of New Jersey had dwindled to just one known nest, but thanks to a federal ban on the toxic chemical DDT, the state slowly saw an increase in the number of predatory birds.

“The eagle’s comeback in New Jersey from a single nesting pair in 1980 to more than 200 pairs today is an amazing success story and a tribute to habitat and wildlife conservation work by the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s biologists,” Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Golden said in a statement.

The DEP also stated that the Bald Eagle Nest Monitor program aided in the recovery of the bird’s population.

The program is made of 100 volunteers who observe eagle nests and provide vital information to biologists.

In 2020, volunteers observed that each of the 210 known nests produced an average of 1.46 young, which according to the DEP exceeds the rate necessary to main a stable population.

Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

“The comeback of the bald eagle in New Jersey ranks among the most inspiring recoveries of endangered wildlife species anywhere,” David Wheeler, Executive Director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ said.

“The bald eagle’s return illustrates what is possible for many other rare species when you bring together proactive wildlife management, strong public investment, and the unparalleled dedication of biologists and volunteers.”

In 2020, a record 36 new eagle nests were located, 22 which were found in South Jersey, where approximately 50 percent of the eagle nests are found.


“Thanks to the hard work of our wildlife conservationists, a commitment to using the best science and our collaboration with our partners, the growing eagle population that has expanded statewide is proof that we have a healthy environment for wildlife,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said.

This is excellent news. Let’s keep the momentum going so we can help the bald eagles break another record for 2021!

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