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Eagle Watch

The Audubon EagleWatch Program is a growing Citizen Science Program that started in 1992 in the Central Florida region with only 22 volunteers. Today the program is statewide, reaching more communities each year and continuing to heighten awareness of Bald Eagle nesting activities throughout the state. As citizen scientists, our volunteers collect and document Bald Eagle nesting information which is used to help in conservation efforts for the species. For more information on volunteering, contact Shawnlei Breeding, Audubon's EagleWatch Project Manager, at To report nest or eagle sightings, contact Cheryl Merz at

Recent accomplishments include:

  • Monitoring 400+ nests, more than 20% of the state’s population.

  • Utilizing over 250 informed volunteers to monitor active nest sites.

  • Locating and verifying an average of 6 new nests per year.

  • Saving nests from destruction by illegal development.

  • Promptly rescuing fallen eaglets.

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Program Goals

  1. Collect data on eagle nesting activity throughout Florida.

  2. Work with stakeholders to improve eagle management in Florida. Stakeholders include:

    a. Local, state, and federal government
    b. Private landowners and public land managers
    c. Utilities, such as cellular service providers and power companies
    d. The public


  3. Educate volunteers and the public about eagle biology and conservation needs in Florida.

  4. Prevent disturbances to active eagle nests.


As an EagleWatch volunteer, you are tasked with monitoring the activity of bald eagle pairs throughout the nesting season (Oct 1st-May 15th). Your information can help Audubon scientists:

  • Better understand the needs of Florida’s eagles.

  • Identify threats and aid in formulating an appropriate management plan for nests that may be threatened by new or encroaching development.

  • Provide information to assist law enforcement in the event of an Eagle Act violation.

  • Enable the rescue of eaglets that may have fallen from their nests.

  • Confirm or enhance the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s annual nesting activity and productivity data.

  • Discover and document previously unrecorded nests.


Field Etiquette

All EagleWatch volunteers are expected to follow the Federal and State Eagle Management Guidelines at all times. The minimum distance while monitoring a nest in a non-urban setting should be 330'. Those nesting pairs that have become habituated to human activity near their nest, may be watched from a closer distance as long as no sings of disturbance are present. If the bird stops doing what it was doing when you arrived, you may be too close. For more information, click here.

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