CIVR Blog: Soaring Free

Photograph by Michelle Krogler. Courtesy Catalina Island Conservancy.

Photograph by Michelle Krogler. Courtesy Catalina Island Conservancy.

Catalina Island is magical place for birders. Thanks to its chaparral habitat, extensive shoreline and protected environment, dozens of avian species make the island home – or at least a stopover on their way somewhere else. One of the island’s most dramatic species makes Catalina its home year round.

The American Bald Eagle was nearly wiped out on the Channel Islands due to the pesticide DDT. Thanks to the hard work of the Institute for Wildlife Studies and nature’s own resiliency, the birds now thrive on Santa Catalina. Several breeding pairs successfully raise their young in nests around the island every year and the iconic birds can often be seen soaring over the island’s coastline. Nearly two dozen eagles make the island their home and birds that were hatched on Catalina have been spotted thousands of miles away.

Webcams have brought the island’s birds international popularity, with thousands of individuals watching regularly as the eagles brood their eggs, feed their chicks and live their lives.

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