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February 10, 2013 08:58 AM

Bald Eagles Thriving In South Dakota Habitat

pierre, sd

Volunteers helping the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department monitor bald eagle nests throughout the state counted 128 active nests in 2012.

Those nests produced 177 fledglings.

The volunteers range from federal employees to bird watchers. They adopt nests in their areas and observe whether the nests have been used and are successful.

A count for 2013 is under way. People living along the Missouri River routinely spot the iconic bird of prey perched in cottonwood trees along the river.

A parks official tells the Capital Journal (http://bit.ly/WMgK9W ) that since 1993, bald eagle nests have increased from just one nest to more than 100. The department has also been conducting an aerial midwinter bald eagle survey annually since 1986.

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