Bald Eagles in Indiana

Bald Eagle Reintroduction Program

The bald eagle project was the first endangered species restoration project initiated by the Indiana Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. Before the project's initiation, a study was done to determine if the restoration of bald eagles to Indiana was feasible. The study's results were favorable so the release phase of the project began in 1985 and concluded in 1989. Over a period of five years, 73 bald eagle chicks were released at Monroe Reservoir in Monroe County.

When reaching adulthood at four to five years of age, bald eagles return to within 50-100 miles of where they fledged to nest. Indiana's first successful bald eagle nest in this century was in 1991 at Lake Monroe. The state's last successful nest before then was in 1897. Loss of habitat and decreased reproduction due to pesticides, such as DDT, contributed to the bald eagle's disappearance from Indiana.

Bald eagle nesting is monitored every year and the young eagles are banded with leg identification tags to help track their movements. The number of nesting territories continues to slowly increase. As of 1998, there were nests on rivers and lakes from Tippecanoe County south to Posey County and east to Brown County. At least 87 eaglets have fledged from Indiana nests through 1998 and second generation reproduction has been reported. The number of second generation nesters is expected to expand steadily over the next few years due to the increased number of eaglets fledged each year since 1995.

Bald Eagle Nesting in Indiana

 Nesting Territories  Attempts  Successful Nests Young Fledged 
 1989 2 1 0 0
 1990 2 1 0 0
 1991 5 3 2 3
 1992 10 5 3 5
 1993 12 9 4 7
 1994 12 11 4 7
 1995 15 13 11 17
 1996 17 14 11 15
 1997 18 15 9 13
 1998 19 15 11 20
 1999 21 20 12 19
 2000
23
23
16
35
 2001
27
27
20
27
 2002
38
38
26
45

Number of new bald eagles fledged


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