Panhandle Golden Eagles
In 1970 I found an active Golden Eagle nest and have been keeping up
with them since.
for the 1970 situation.
Click here for the 1984
Click here for the 2002
In 1970 there were six pairs nesting in the upper
Palo Duro canyon of the Texas panhandle. By
1984 when Texas Parks and Wildlife did their state-wide breeding Golden
Eagle survey there were 3 pairs still nesting there. Due to
greatly increased human activity in the area the nesting eagles
continued to decline. I spent a great deal of time and effort in
the spring of 2002 using about 10 observation locations and a lot of
equipment to get a reliable count and found only two pairs still
nesting in the area.
Notice the inverse relationship of residences and roads to nesting
eagles on the maps. I have deliberately deleted the nest
territories in 2002 as well as any nests which might be used currently
for this website but you can still see the increase in roads and
residences. Note the new addition of Canoncita adjoining the
bottom of the state park on the 2002 map. An additional new part of the
park on the west side is not shown here but became the boundary some
time between 1984 and 2002.
This picture shows cliffs which
had four nests alternatively used by a pair of Golden Eagles that
abandoned the area between 1970 and 1972.
This picture was taken from
immediately above a nestsite used for 50 years but is now abandoned. In
the early 1970s a photo blind had been in use here to record the
nesting habits of this pair. Recreational jeep
tours, established about the time the nest was abandoned pass
within 50 yards of the nest remains.
This picture shows typical nest
habitat. One pair still nested in 2002 on distant cliffs seen
Sources for the eagle maps were my own old nest-site and breeding
territory maps, Dan True, Dan True's books, various map layers from
Texas Department of Transportation at three vintages, two vintages of
satellite images, 1984 and
2002; 1995 digital ortho quarter quads, and processed DEMs for
cliffs. Doqqs and DEMs were from Texas Natural Resource
Information System while the satellite images were from EROS
(USGS) and Texas Synergy respectively.