Report bald eagle nest sightings

The state Game and Fish Department is asking for help in locating active bald eagle nests in North Dakota.

Game and Fish conservation biologist Sandra Johnson said the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings.

Eagles lay eggs in early-to-mid March, and hatch about a month later. Johnson said it’s easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size.

“We have around 270 active bald eagle nests, and possibly more, in the state,” Johnson said, while noting that in 2008 North Dakota had only 50 active nests.

Eagle nests are observed in more than three-quarters of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes. However, they are also 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 nest, and to stay a safe distance away. Johnson said foot traffic may disturb the bird, likely causing the eagle to leave her eggs or young unattended.