On May 13, 2015, I was honored to observe state biologists band bald eaglet “E13” from a nest along Mantua Creek in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Jersey’s eagles are outfitted in with two bands: a silver, federal band and a green, state band. Each band has an identification number. In the event that the bird is resighted, the observer can report the band numbers to biologists. These resightings help biologists learn more about the behavior, site fidelity, habitat preferences, and breeding tendencies of birds of prey.
Through decades of perfecting the art, banding does not endanger bald eagle chicks or their parents. The eaglets are removed safely from the nest by an expertly trained biologist. The experts then weigh the birds, take other measurements and blood samples, and band the birds. All data collected is used to better understand bald eagles, the threats that they face, and how we can work together to protect them in the Garden State.