Bald eagles in the Chesapeake Bay Region have fully recovered from historic population declines caused by pesticides. As of 2020, there are so many bald eagles in the Chesapeake Bay Region that the area has become a focal point for bird-aircraft collisions, at both civil and military airfields in Virginia and Maryland. This is problematic because bald eagles are listed as the sixth most hazardous animal for an aircraft to strike, based on damage caused to an aircraft and effects on flight operations and military readiness. The purpose of this project is to understand bald eagle behavior to reduce eagle-aircraft strike hazard in the region.
We began this project in 2013 in cooperation with and support from Jeff Cooper of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Fort A.P. Hill, West Virginia University, and the US Geological Survey. Since 2013, nearly 100 Bald Eagles have been trapped and tagged in Virginia for this project.