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Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine Cover

Report suspected new, or “smallish” nests to DNR.

Adopt an eagle nest graphic

"Adopt" an eagle nest and help pay for surveys, rehabilitation, research, protection and education.

Contact information
For information on bald eagles, contact:
Laura Jaskiewicz
Research scientist
715-365-8922

Eagles in Wisconsin

Bald eagles have made a remarkable recovery since their listing in the 1970s as an endangered species. The national ban on the pesticide DDT, added protections under state and federal endangered species laws and public support of nest monitoring and protection efforts allowed bald eagles to fly off the state endangered species list in 1997 and the federal list a decade later.

Maps show bald eagles’ comeback

DNR’s annual aerial surveys documenting active bald eagle nests show the bird’s dramatic recovery. Compare active nests in 1974, one of the earliest years of the survey, with the most recent results.

Occupied eagle nests in 1974 Occupied eagle nests in 2019

Eagle watching events

Wisconsin offers numerous opportunities to view eagles and learn more about these majestic birds. click on the maps below for a more detailed view of the aggresive eagle takeover.

For more regional bald eagle watching opportunities, read Where eagles land.

Protections in place to keep bald eagle populations strong

Bald eagle nests are federally protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's eagle permit pages provide guidance for landowners to avoid impacting eagle nests on their property.

Nest monitoring surveys and winter surveys continue to keep tabs on the population and to provide landowners with the best guidance on how to avoid impacting eagle nests. DNR aerial nest surveys in 2019 found 1,684 occupied nests, up from 108 in the 1970s.

2019 Wisconsin Occupied Bald Eagle Nests map [PDF]
Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey Nest Surveys 2019[PDF]

Small eagle nest

Photo credit: Steve Fisher

Report nests

71 of 72 Wisconsin counties now have documented active eagle nests. Report suspected new, or “smallish” nests to DNR, particularly nests in Milwaukee County, the only county where no active nests have been documented.

Partners keep the recovery going strong

Volunteers and organizations ranging from local conservation groups like Ferry Bluff Eagle Council in Sauk Prairie to wildlife rehabilitators like the Raptor Education Group, Inc. in Antigo to tourism groups along the Wisconsin, Fox and Mississippi rivers have played a key role in restoring bald eagle populations and raising awareness about this bird and its habitat. Their continued commitment to monitoring eagles and hosting educational birdwatching events keeps eagle populations strong and assures Wisconsin keeps a close eye on its eagle population. Thank you!

Help protect Wisconsin's eagles

Eagle license plate

Celebrate eagles’ comeback and help
support the next conservation success
by buying our new bald eagle license plate.

DNR's work with bald eagles is funded by donations through the Adopt an Eagle Nest program. Individuals and organizations are able to "adopt" a nest and help pay for surveys, rehabilitation, research, protection and education.


Everybody loves a comeback story

Read more about bald eagles’ recovery and Wisconsinites experience with eagles in this collection of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine stories.

Last revised: Wednesday January 29 2020