In 2014, bald eagles reached a record 750 breeding pairs in Michigan thanks to Consumers Energy’s effort to enhance habitats. Michigan dams, including a number of Consumers Energy’s hydros, create backwater habitats where eagles can find secluded nesting sites and plenty of fish that are safe for them to eat.
The 750 bald eagle breeding pairs estimated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the highest number since their census has been taken.
In the 1970s, chemicals like PCB and DDT were banned because they caused eagles’ eggshells to thin and break during the bird’s incubation. This severely reduced the eagle population across Michigan and the continental U.S.
The areas around our hydro reservoirs provided refuge for eagles and other wildlife, since the dams block toxins transported by migrating Great Lakes fish. Consumers Energy’s bald eagle management plan includes:
- Protecting old growth white pines
- Establishing a protection zone to minimize disturbance for each nest
- Protecting the eagles’ food supply
- Contributing to eagle productivity census flights
- Successfully exceeding productivity goal of 1.0 eagles fledged per nest
- Successfully added new breeding territories which increased annual eagle productivity on the hydros by more than 50 percent
Bald Eagle Fun Facts
There’s more to a bald eagle than being known as the United States’ national bird. Get the facts below:
- The bald eagle isn’t actually bald. Its white head only appears bald from a distance.
- The bird can only be found in North America.
- Bald eagles choose one mate for the rest of their lives—unless they become widowed.
- The bird can’t swim—but will sit in the water and row itself with its wings.
- Bald eagles have no sense of smell. They can only sense if their food is spoiled after tasting.