Sulphur, Okla. (KFOR) – National Park Service staff have confirmed the first bald eagle nest within Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
The Murray County game warden and park staff first observed the nest at the end of March, following a visitor report. At that time, the eagle pair had successfully hatched two healthy-looking eaglets.
Park staff have continued to monitor the nest and the eaglets are expected to fledge soon.
The eagle population at Lake of the Arbuckles is greatest during the winter months when migrating eagles visit from the north. Now, with a resident eagle pair, there is a better chance of spotting an eagle in the summer as well.
Bald eagles are protected under several federal laws. It is illegal to disturb, harass, or harm an eagle in any way. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act prohibits the taking, possessing, or transporting of eagles or eagle parts, including eggs, nests, and feathers.
Bald eagle populations began to decline in the 1800s due to hunting, habitat loss, and the use of the pesticide DDT. It is estimated that by 1963 only 417 breeding pairs remained in the lower 48 states. Through the hard work of captive breeding programs, the banning of DDT, and federal protections, the bald eagle population has since rebounded. The bald eagle’s recovery is among the country’s greatest conservation success stories, and it shows how group efforts can help save wildlife.