Multiple animal species in Georgia enjoyed outstanding -- and even record! -- reproductive seasons this year, according to information released by Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Among the most successful: bald eagles, loggerhead turtles, and woodpeckers.
In July, Georgia DNR reported that bald eagle nests in the state increased to record numbers in 2022. Now in August, DNR reports that loggerhead turtles have set a state nesting record, and rare red-cockaded woodpeckers were on their way to an outstanding nesting season.
To find and monitor nesting bald eagles, DNR conducted survey flights this winter and spring. DNR officials counted counted 229 nest territories, topping the previous high set in 2017. That included 37 new nests which had not been spotted and counted before.
Of the observed nests, 146 were considered "successful," that is, produced young eagles. Adult eagles in those successful nests fledged, or raised from eggs to flight, 227 eagles. Both of those counts exceeded the 2017 nesting year record of 142 successful nests producing 218 young eagles. Eagle nesting results were reported in a DNR press release issued July 19.
In August, DNR's Sea Turtle Conservation Program continued watching loggerhead turtle nesting all along the state's coast line. With over 4,000 nests counted by mid-August, loggerheads topped the prior high of 3,950 nests set in 2019. Georgia nests were estimated to contain more than 270,000 eggs. DNR posts online up-to-date information on Georgia's sea turtle nesting, success rates and other statistics.
Also enjoying a record-setting reproductive year: red-cockaded woodpeckers. DNR monitored 63 breeding groups of the rare birds and banded 83 nestlings, according to agency reports. That included a record 54 young at Silver Lake WMA near Bainbridge in the far southeast corner of Georgia. Despite their name, the endangered small woodpeckers are mostly black and white. They excavate nest and roost cavities in pine trees and forests.
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