Two Bald Eagle Chicks Hatch at Sauces Canyon Nest on Santa Cruz Island—Third Time is a Charm

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Date: March 14, 2016
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Today, the second of two bald eagles hatched in a nest in Sauces Canyon on Santa Cruz Island. This is the first successful hatch for this nest after three years of attempts by the adult bald eagle pair.

The first chick hatched on Saturday, March 12 at 7:46 am and the second chick pipped out of the egg shell today at 11:52 am.

Each of the adult birds were hatched at San Francisco Zoo Avian Conservation Center and released on Santa Cruz Island as part of an effort to reestablish the birds after their disappearance from the islands by the 1960s due to impacts from the chemical DDT. The 11-year old male was brought out to the island in 2005 and the female arrived in 2006.

The adult male bald eagle, known as A-40, started using the Sauces Canyon nest in 2011 but was mated with a different female bird. Since 2014, he has been paired up with his current mate A-48. Their nest attempts failed in 2014 and 2015 at the Sauces Canyon nest site located on top of a Monterey cypress.

The Sauces Canyon bald eagle pair is the first to lay eggs this season across the Channel Islands. The pair laid three eggs at the nest in 2016, but the first one disappeared.

So far in 2016 there are 19 known breeding pairs across Channel Islands. There is one on Anacapa Island, eight on Santa Cruz Island, two on Santa Rosa Island, seven on Catalina Island, and one San Clemente Island. 

The first bald eagle to hatch unaided by humans in more than 50 years on the Channel Islands occurred in March 2006 on Santa Cruz Island. Since then, bald eagle recovery has been steady.

You can watch the bald eagle chicks develop this breeding season via live bald eagle webcams at bald eagle webcam or Biologists and the public can track and learn about their behavior on a bald eagle discussion forum.

The Channel Islands Live Bald Eagle Webcam was made possible through a partnership with the National Park Service, Ventura County Office of Education, and the Institute for Wildlife Studies with support provided by the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program. Most of the bald eagle nests are on the portion of Santa Cruz Island that is owned by The Nature Conservancy, which is graciously hosting the webcams.


The Explore Annenberg LLC is a charitable, non-profit organization with a mission to champion the selfless acts of others, create a portal for the education of humanity and inspire lifelong learning. Explore uses the power of the internet, images, music, dialogue and the written word to fulfill its mission. Both educational and inspirational, Explore offers a portal for public viewing of live video and live webcams at

MSRP, a multi-agency program dedicated to restoring natural resources harmed by DDTs and PCBs released into the environment in southern California, funds bald eagle restoration efforts. MSRP is overseen by representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Lands Commission, and California Department of Parks and Recreation. For further information:

The Institute for Wildlife Studies, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife species, is involved in conservation projects around the world. IWS has conducted bald eagle restoration on Catalina Island for over 35 years.

Land owners who support restoration efforts include the National Park Service (who manages on five of the eight California Channel Islands), The Nature Conservancy (who jointly owns and manages Santa Cruz Island with the NPS), the Catalina Island Conservancy for Santa Catalina Island, and the U.S. Navy on San Clemente Island.

To view a bald eagle restoration video and images:

Last updated: March 22, 2016

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