Bald Eagle Banding at Naval Air Station Patuxent River 2017

B. J. Paxton, The Center for Conservation Biology


Naval Air Station Patuxent River conducts annual monitoring of breeding eagles on the installation to inform management and prevent conflicts with military activities. One of the main sources of potential conflict is the airfield at Patuxent River and the risk of potential airstrikes of an eagle with Naval aircraft. Banding data from nestlings will be used to help determine whether or not bald eagle nests on the installation constitute a hazard to aviation on NAS Patuxent River The annual monitoring currently includes an aerial survey to document eagle nest locations and breeding status (funded by a separate contract). In 2017, there were three known eagle nests located in the habitat surrounding the airfield. The first round of the survey in March found incubating and brooding behavior by the adult eagles. The second round of surveys in early April confirmed small chicks in all three nests.