An assessment of the bald eagle breeding population along Lake Tillery and Blewett Falls Lake in North Carolina: 2005 breeding season
Waterways along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River between Lake Tillery and Blewett Falls Lake were surveyed for nesting bald eagles and great blue herons during the breeding season of 2005. Four bald eagle territories were determined to be active including 2 on Lake Tillery, 1 along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River between Tillery Dam and Blewett Falls Lake, and 1 on Blewett Falls Lake. Collectively, these pairs produced 9 chicks. Two great blue heron colonies were located including 1 on the lower portion of Lake Tillery and 1 below the Norwood Dam. These colonies supported 88 nesting pairs. Populations of both bald eagles and great blue herons continue to increase along the upper Yadkin-Pee Dee River. The river between the town of Yadkin above High Rock Reservoir and Blewett Falls Lake now supports 7 occupied bald eagle territories that produced 14 chicks in 2005. This reach now supports 12 great blue heron colonies that in 2005 contained 942 pairs of great blue herons and 15 pairs of great egrets. Activity continues to be focused around hydro-electric dams presumably because the flow conditions below these structures improves food availability and foraging for these bird species.