News Release

Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd.

300 East Hickory Street, Apple River, IL 61001

Phone: 815-594-2306 Fax: 815-594-2305 Web Site:

e-mail: Tax Exempt No. 36-4015400

For Immediate Release November 24, 2015

Volunteers Needed for 2016 Bald Eagle Count

Apple River, IL) The Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) is seeking volunteers to help with its 56th Annual Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Count to be conducted on January 30 and 31, 2016. This annual mid-winter bald eagle count is being conducted throughout the Midwest from Northern Minnesota to Louisiana. The count is actually a one day count on Saturday with Sunday being used only if weather, or health, does not allow a person or organization to count the bald eagles in their own locality on the official count day. At least 90% of the eagles will be counted before 11:00 AM on Saturday, the 30th. Each year some counters start the day by counting the bald eagles that can be seen leaving their nighttime roosts, while it is still so dark that the birds are only silhouettes flying overhead. Some conservation organizations use teams to count the bald eagles as a project for their club. Counters have used cars, boats and airplanes to count the bald eagles during past counts.

This annual count was started and coordinated for 20 years by the late Elton Fawks from Moline, IL. Terrence Ingram, President of ENF, from Apple River, has been the coordinator of the count for the past 35 years. Mr. Ingram states, "This count has been the most important bald eagle count in the nation for many, many years. It was the results of this count in the early 1960's that truly documented the decline of the bald eagle in the nation. Now this count is the only accurate record of how our eagles are reproducing in the Midwest. Since the USFW removed the bald eagle from the Endangered Species List there has been no funding for agencies to remain involved in the monitoring of the bald eagle’s reproduction. Most all of their reproduction records are just estimates, or extrapolations, of how many young have been raised."

The last few years have documented that a low percentage of immatures were being seen during the count. This is the same low percentage that the count had recorded in the mid to late 1960’s. The cause for this low percentage of documented immatures on this count is unknown and any suggestions have been purely speculation. It could be that the immatures matured and are living somewhere else, or something could actually be affecting their survival; such as starvation, poisoning by chemicals, perhaps as Roundup or Neonicitinoids, or a disease, such as West Nile Virus, or they may be killed by vehicles or wind turbines.

Organizations and volunteers for this count are needed all across the Midwest. ENF would like to document the bald eagles that may be found all along the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to Louisiana, as well as the Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Rock, Pecatonica, Iowa, Maquoketa and Wisconsin Rivers, plus many of the historic inland wintering areas which the bald eagle still uses.

Anyone interested in helping with the research to document our changing bald eagle population by counting the bald eagles in their own area on Jan. 30, should contact Mr. Ingram at ENF, 300 East Hickory Street, Apple River, IL 61001 or phone 815-594-2306 to get the necessary count forms and to receive their area assignment. Contacting Mr. Ingram and getting your area assigned must be done in advance of the count date, Jan. 30.

For more information contact: Terrence N. Ingram, Exec. Director, Eagle Nature Foundation, 300 East Hickory St., Apple River, IL 61001 Phone 815-594-2306

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