Bald eagles continue to flourish at Jordan Lake, with some activity at 13 nests, according to Jon Bannerman, Natural Resources Specialist with the Corps of Engineers. About half are in incubation stage (eagle sitting on eggs) and the other half have already hatched, eagle monitors reported.
The Dam and Tailrace continue to be areas where eagles can be spotted during early morning and early evening hours. Check the Jordan Lake WildlifeCam near the dam and Haw River and WildlifeCam Facebook page.
The Jordan Lake Christmas Bird Count was conducted by New Hope Audubon volunteers Jan. 1 in miserable weather (37-45 degrees and rain). They identified 86 species and counted 48,033 individual birds. The species count was lower than 10-year average of 91.7. The dominant factor as usual was the huge number of Ring-billed Gulls that roost on the lake (estimated at 35,000).
The 2017 count spotted 11 eagles. Record is 49, ten-year average 10.
Despite the conditions, compiler Norm Budnitz said they had a few new high species counts:
Northern Shovelers—20 (previous high was 12 in 2011)
Wild Turkeys—66 (32 in 2007)
Double-crested Cormorants—3,466 (3,000 in 2014)
Some 49 volunteers participated.
The Wildlife Observation Deck (AKA Bald Eagle Deck) on Martha’s Chapel Hill Road is one of the most popular sites on the lake for birders and walkers. The deck, .6 mile east of Farrington Road intersection, has about 1.5 miles of short lakeside trails, benches, information kiosk with trail maps beside the parking lot. The deck was built in 2009 by volunteers on Corps of Engineers property.