Bald Eagles – Virginia

Background

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.

Research Methods
Telemetry

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.

Specific Studies

  • Bald eagle conservation and management in Virginia – understanding eagle-aircraft strike hazard in the Chesapeake Bay 
  • Bald eagle conservation and management at Marine Corps Base Quantico – understanding eagle-aircraft strike hazard
  • Bald eagle conservation and management at Fort A.P. Hill – understanding eagle-aircraft strike hazard

Publications, Presentations, and Reports

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Miller, T.A., J. Cooper, A.E. Duerr, M.E. Braham, J.T. Anderson, and T.E. Katzner. 2019. Implications for bird aircraft strike hazard by bald eagles. Journal of Wildlife Management. 83(4):879-892. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21647

Technical Reports

  • Miller, T.A., A.E. Duerr, M.A. Braham, J.T. Anderson, and T.E. Katzner. 2019 Understanding movements of bald eagles and implications for bald eagle aircraft strikes at Marine Corps Base Quanitco. Prepared for Marine Corps Base Quantico. 39 pp.

Scientific Presentations

  • Miller, T.A., J. Cooper, A.E. Duerr, M.E. Braham, J.T. Anderson, and T.E. Katzner. 2019. Movements of juvenile bald eagles: Implications for bird aircraft strike hazard in the Chesapeake Bay. National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard Working Group, Norfolk, VA. Oral presentation.
  • Miller, T.A., M. Braham, A.E. Duerr, J. Cooper, M.J. Lanzone, J.T. Anderson & T.E. Katzner. 2016. Juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) movements in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA. Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation. Cape May, NJ, USA. Oral presentation.  
  • Miller, T.A., J. Cooper, M.J. Lanzone, M. Braham, A.E. Duerr, & T.E. Katzner. 2014. Movements of juvenile bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) near the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia: implications for bird aircraft strike hazard. Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation. Corpus Christi, TX. Oral presentation.