Photo Courtesy of John McConnell
In August of 2007, the Bald Eagle was delisted from its threatened status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, Bald Eagles remain protected under the Federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In 2008, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FFWCC) adopted the Bald Eagle Management Plan that enlists the support of local governments in Bald Eagle conservation and management. The City of Cape Coral has provided assistance to FWC by monitoring the Eagle Management Zones throughout the City. In addition, the City has also adopted a local eagle protection ordinance that further protects, enhances, and preserves the nest of the Bald Eagle and its immediate environment.
Eagle Watch Program
City of Cape Coral’s Bald Eagle Ordinance
City of Cape Coral’s Bald Eagle Nest Status
Bald Eagle Information
The Southern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) weighs 8-10 pounds with a wingspan of 6-7 feet. Females are larger than males, as with most raptors. The head and tails of adult eagles are white and their bodies are dark brown. Their eyes, feet and bill are yellow. Juveniles do not yet have the white head and tail, and are brown with scattered white feathers.
Bald eagles are primarily fish eaters, preying occasionally on small mammals and carrion. Eagles have been seen feeding on roadside kill alongside vultures. Bald eagle nesting season in Florida runs from October 1st until the eaglets fledge, which is typically around May 15th of the following year. Eagles mate for life and use the same nest year after year, if available. In Florida, the eagles who migrate usually return in late September or early October. Cape Coral’s Bald Eagles have been seen in their nest territory during summer as well.
Mature females lay one to three eggs between late November and early January. The young eaglets hatch 32-34 days later and leave the nest in 11-12 weeks, usually by mid-May. The young birds fly northward as far as Canada and return by adulthood at 4-5 years of age. Eagles mate and initiate breeding in the vicinity where they hatched.