At one time bald eagles were nearly nonexistent in the Great Lakes region. Today, there are three nesting pairs of eagles on the Upper St. Lawrence River.
It has taken decades for return of the bald eagle to the Thousand Islands. The use of pesticides like DDT and DDE in the 1960’s and 1970’s devastated eagle populations affecting the birds’ ability to reproduce. But, with the banning of DDT in 1972 and the help of careful management, bald eagle populations rebounded.
In 1999, the first successful nesting pair of bald eagles in the Thousand Islands in decades were documented. Today, three nesting pairs are found on the River in the summer, with many more spending the winter season before returning north.
Partnership Working to Restore Eagle Populations
Local environmental agencies from both the US and Canada banded together to form the St. Lawrence Bald Eagle Working group in the late 1990’s to begin habitat restoration and research efforts for bald eagles. Since that time, the group has completed various habitat restoration projects including mapping of high priority bald eagle nesting habitat types and constructing nesting platforms within those areas.
The group has also successfully placed satellite transmitters on four young eagles born in the Thousand Islands, providing important data about fledgling dispersal patterns.
Save The River has teamed up with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Thousand Island Land Trust to begin restoration efforts on the U.S. side of the Upper St. Lawrence River. Restoration efforts will include nesting platform construction in high priority nesting habitats, protection of high priority nesting habitats, and monitoring of adults and eagle young through radio telemetry.
Want to Help?
Interested in helping out? Save The River is now collecting donations for bald eagle restoration efforts. We will also accept donations of building materials for nest construction. To donate today, visit our Donate page.