Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Wintering Bald Eagles at Southwest Nebraska Reservoirs

David E. Busch, Water & Power Resources Services

Copyright 1981, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


As a part of Water and Power Resources Service (formerly Bureau of Reclamation) compliance with endangered species mandates, a study of Bald Eagle use of Lower Missouri Region reservoirs was initiated during the winter of 1979. The author, headquartered in McCook, surveyed a number of reservoirs in Kansas and Nebraska, including Nebraska's four southwest reservoirs.

While wintering Bald Eagles on the Platte River, Harlan County Reservoir, and the Lewis and Clark Lake area have been the subjects of previous studies, the southwest reservoirs have received little such attention. Since wintering Eagle populations at these four reservoirs are relatively low, this was not unexpected. What was surprising to Nebraskans studying the Bald Eagle was the late winter-early spring concentration at Swanson Reservoir, discovered by this survey.