WDFW Washington State Status Report for the Bald state status report for the bald eagle. Washington Dept. Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 92 pp. Cover photos by Jim Watson, ... Escapement goals and eagles

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  • by Derek W. Stinson, James W. Watsonand Kelly R. McAllister

    Washington State Status Reportfor the Bald EagleWashington State Status Reportfor the Bald Eagle

    by Derek W. Stinson, James W. Watsonand Kelly R. McAllister

    STATE OF WASHINGTON October 2001

    WDFW 759

    Washington Department ofFISH AND WILDLIFEWildlife Program

    Washington Department ofFISH AND WILDLIFEWildlife Program

  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of endangered, threatened and sensitivespecies (Washington Administrative Codes 232-12-014 and 232-12-011, Appendix I). In 1990, theWashington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted listing procedures developed by a group of citizens,interest groups, and state and federal agencies (Washington Administrative Code 232-12-297, Appendix I).The procedures include how species listing will be initiated, criteria for listing and delisting, public reviewand recovery and management of listed species.

    The first step in the process is to develop a preliminary species status report. The report includes a reviewof information relevant to the species status in Washington and addresses factors affecting its statusincluding, but not limited to: historic, current, and future species population trends, natural history includingecological relationships, historic and current habitat trends, population demographics and their relationshipto long term sustainability, and historic and current species management activities.

    The procedures then provide for a 90-day public review opportunity for interested parties to submit newscientific data relevant to the draft status report and classification recommendation. During the 90-dayreview period, the Department held three public meetings to take comments and answer questions. TheDepartment has now completed the final status report, listing recommendation and State EnvironmentalPolicy Act findings for presentation to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The documents andrecommendation are available for a 30-day public review period.

    This is the Final Status Report for the Bald Eagle. Submit written comments on this report and thereclassification proposal by 22 November 2001 to: Harriet Allen, Wildlife Program, WashingtonDepartment of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

    The Department intends to present the results of this status review to the Fish and Wildlife Commission foraction at the December 7-8 meeting. However, in the event that the bald eagle has not been de-listed by theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the federal Endangered Species Act, the presentation for action by theCommission will be postponed until federal de-listing has occurred.

    This report should be cited as:

    Stinson, D. W., J. W. Watson, and K. R. McAllister. 2001. Washington state status report for the bald eagle.Washington Dept. Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 92 pp.

    Cover photos by Jim Watson, cover design and title page illustration by Darrell Pruett.

  • Washington State Status Report

    for the Bald Eagle

    Prepared by

    Derek W. Stinson, James W. Watson, and Kelly R. McAllister

    Washington Department of Fish and WildlifeWildlife Program

    600 Capitol Way NOlympia, WA 98501-1091

    October 2001

  • October 2001 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifeiii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

    Acronyms Used in the Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

    TAXONOMY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    DESCRIPTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    NATURAL HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Reproduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    Territoriality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Mating behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Nesting and brood rearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    Movements and Dispersal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Dispersal and Fidelity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    Diet and Foraging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    Winter feeding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Soaring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Communal roosting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Interspecific relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    Longevity, Survival, and Mortality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    HABITAT REQUIREMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Home Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Nesting Habitat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Perch Trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Foraging Habitat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Roosting Habitat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    POPULATION STATUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Decline, Protection and Recovery in North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Washington: Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

    Estimate of historical population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Washington: Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    Nesting density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Occupancy rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Productivity rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

  • October 2001 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifeiv

    Nest success rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Lower Columbia River and Hood Canal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Winter population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    Washington Population: Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    HABITAT STATUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Foraging habitat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Nesting, perching and roosting habitats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Land ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .