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Hurricane Irene Destroys Bald Eagle Nests

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A large number of Bald Eagle nests have been destoyed due to Hurricane Irene.
Pen Waggener: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epw/348448681/
A large number of Bald Eagle nests have been destoyed due to Hurricane Irene.

Biologists have found that Hurricane Irene destroyed and damaged a large number of Bald Eagle nests along the James River.

Researchers at the Center for Conservation Biology at Virginia's Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary conducted an aerial survey of the nests a week after the Aug. 27 storm.

They discovered nearly 21 percent of 154 nests were lost, and about 23 percent were damaged.

The destruction was widespread, with the heaviest damage centered around Hopewell.

It was comparable to the results left by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, when 40 percent of eagle nests were damaged or destroyed. 

Eagle pairs that lost nests were less likely to breed and their reproduction rate fell. Reproductive rates improved two years later and were back to normal during the third breeding season.

 

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