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Bald eagle nest survey begins 60th year along Virginia’s coast

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 16:55:31-05

WILLIAMBSURG, Va. – Flights to survey the number of nesting bald eagles on Virginia’s coast will begin in late February.

The eagle census, in its 60th year, sends flight crews out twice per year. This set of flights are to scout out new eagle nests and check the status of known nests.  A second set of flights in late April counts chicks that have hatched.

The Center for Conservation Biology that conducts the flights is a joint program of the College of William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The team consists of Mitchell Byrd and Bryan Watts from the center and a former fighter pilot known as Capt. Fuzzzo.

As Capt. Fuzzzo flies the plane, Watts spots the nests and Byrd marks the location on a topographic map.

This is the 40th year Byrd will participate in the flights and the 25th year for Watts.