Bald eagles had all but vanished from New Jersey not so long ago. In fact, David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, said, “…we only had one nest in all of New Jersey as recently as the 1980s, and it wasn’t even a successful nest.” Now, 200 pairs and more nest in the Garden State.
“It’s an incredible recovery and it’s really a testament to a number of different factors,” Wheeler told NJTV News. “First, of course, was getting rid of DDT as a widely used agriculture pesticide … but also it was really a testament to smarter laws about cleaning up our waters” and “to the work of scientists and volunteers.”
There’s a lot of excitement over the fact that two pairs now call Mercer County home. And a series of public programs to highlight the presence of the raptors has launched. “For understandable reasons we are very protective of the eagles’ nest. We want to make sure that they thrive, and they continue to feel safe… So all viewing by the public will be from a distance greater than 1,000 feet from the nest,” said Anthony Cucchi, superintendent of Parks for the Mercer County Park Commission.