|Date: ||Fri, 29 Dec 2006 22:02:49 -0500|
|Reply-To: ||Swillis <Swillis@WAYXCABLE.COM>|
|Sender: ||Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||Swillis <Swillis@WAYXCABLE.COM>|
|Subject: ||Golden Eagles & Bald Eagles in South Georgia|
|Content-Type: ||text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
Hope you are fine. We just finished the Okefenokee National Wildlife
Refuge CBC today. We did a quickie countdown, and a report will be given
later after all the specific details are received from all the
But wanted to mention a few noteworthy items, in case anyone is going to
be in South Georgia this weekend or coming weeks.
The team of Samantha Smith and myself (Sheila Willis) saw an adult BALD
EAGLE carrying a large branch (nesting material) around 3 p.m. today. It
was flying east to southwest over the Charlton County Landfill offices
near the landfill. It circled over the nearby pines for a few minutes
within a large kettle of TURKEY VULTUREs.
This dump is a few miles south of Folkston & the eastern entrance to the
Okefenokee N.W.R. It is west of GA Hwy #121 off Chesser Island Road via
a short spur road to the south. If you continued along Chesser Island
Road it dead-ends at the old landfill.
A few years ago, the staff at the landfill had mentioned a Bald Eagle
nest just to the west of their site but slightly north of where this
bird was flying. The landfill is only a few years old and has attracted
both Bald (regularly) & Golden (periodically in the winter) Eagles.
While talking with the landfill staff, they indicated that at least 2
adult BALD EAGLEs were at the dump as we spoke (we could not have access
due to the manager's absence, trucks were coming & going). They also
said that 2 immature BALD EAGLEs had been there with the adults this
morning along with an adult GOLDEN EAGLE. They were sitting & feeding by
the debris. It was during this conversation with them that the Bald
Eagle with the branch was seen flying over.
The staff said that the eagles generally appear after 9 a.m. and near
the end of the day are often seen flying westward towards the swamp.
NOTE: the general public cannot access the direct landfill area due to
safety reasons, but you can park near the offices & look southward over
the pines which surround the dump & watch for birds. Some staff are more
knowledgeable than others. Also, you can see the increasing "mountain"
from a distance if you continue along GA Hwy #121 a little to the south
of the first road to the landfill (Chesser Island Road). Bald Eagles are
often seen sitting or flying along GA Hwy #121 south of Folkston.
Shortly after that exciting encounter, we reached the CBC countdown site
at the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area (East Entrance) in the Okefenokee
N.W.R. and relayed the information about the eagles to the rest of the
CBC folks. Tom Beal, of Maryland, who was the counter in the swamp,
informed us that he had seen an adult GOLDEN EAGLE at Altamaha State
Wildlife Management Area below Darien, McIntosh Co. on Tues., 12/26. It
was on the east side of U.S. #17.
And right after that statement, Chip Campbell, owner of Okefenokee
Adventures, the concession at the Okefenokee N.W.R., said that one of
his guides, Howard Hunt (former reptile curator at the Atlanta Zoo), had
seen an adult GOLDEN EAGLE at the end of November, 2006 in the eastern
Okefenokee wetlands relatively close to the Charlton Co. Landfill area.
The Golden Eagle has been recorded several times in the past 50 years
for the Okefenokee CBC (one recent count with pictures). Refuge staff
have seen the species roosting with the vultures along the Triangle near
the entrance to Chesser Prairie, and other reports have come from that
overall vicinity too during some winters.
Chip also said a BALD EAGLE had been seen eating a WHITE IBIS in the
eastern Okefenokee Swamp recently this year as well.
Hope this is good news for some eagle watchers among us. Take care.
Sheila Willis, Director
Okefenokee Bird Club, President
Native American-Naturalist Talks & Tours
Waycross, Ware Co., GA
To search GABO-L archives or manage your subscription, go to
To contact a listowner, send message to
To view GABO-L information/guidelines, go to