Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"1991 National Wildlife Federaton Eagle Survey Results," from Nebraska Bird Review (March 1991) 59(1).


Copyright 1991, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


1991 National Wildlife Federation Eagle Survey Results

From 3 to 17 January 1991, the National Wildlife Federation sponsored their midwinter survey of Bald and Golden Eagles in Nebraska. This year, the surveyors spotted a total of 642 Bald and 41 Golden Eagles. Of the 642 Bald Eagles, 176 birds were spotted along the Missouri River, and 466 were seen in the remainder of the state (the Missouri area total is kept separately due to state boundaries which occur along the river). Only one of the 41 Golden Eagles was seen along the Missouri.

The 1991 eagle count was about 475 birds below the record set in 1989 and about 200 birds below the average over the past five years. Noteworthy drops in eagle concentration took place along the Missouri (17% below last year's total and the past four-year average), in the Harlan County Reservoir area, the Sutherland Reservoir area, and on the stretch of the Platte between Darr and Elm Creek. It is believed that the below normal temperatures from late December through the first part of January caused significant ice cover in several major eagle concentration areas. The timing of the cold weather plus the ice cover is believed to have pushed the eagles south. One area which did note an above normal level in eagle usage was the North Platte River Valley between Lewellen and Keystone (up 40 to 45%). This was mainly due to a high number of eagles-66-concentrated around the open water of Lake Ogallala.