Bald Eagle Survey Team

To witness our national symbol hatch from an egg a little larger than a tennis ball and then grow to nearly three feet tall with a wingspan of over six feet, is really fascinating! To restore the southern bald eagle population, the Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville released 275 captivity raised bald eagles in Oklahoma and four other states 1985-1992. From zero bald eagle nests in Oklahoma in 1984 to well over 300 nests today is a fantastic result. Continued monitoring is very important though; the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act regulates that eagles may not be pursued, poisoned, injured, or disturbed. The Sutton Center is frequently consulted regarding the presence of eagle nests relative to areas planned for development projects. Bald eagle nest monitoring provides a way to record information – and citizen scientists are essential to accomplish the job. The Sutton Center receives help from the “BEST” volunteers, the Bald Eagle Survey Team. During the eagle breeding season, the volunteers take time out of their days to observe nests reported in their area. If a new nest sighting is reported to the Sutton Center, a survey team member will scout out the nest to confirm that it is, in fact, an eagle nest. The BEST volunteers fill out a form for each nest they monitor. We will be holding a workshop in late November/early December to prepare for the upcoming nesting season. If you would like more information about volunteering with the Sutton Center BEST, contact us to find out how you can be an important part of protecting our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle. We can be reached by phone at 918-336-7778 or by email at

BEST article for Examiner Enterprise 2019-03

BEST Monitoring Manual

Sutton Center BEST Volunteer Waiver

SARC bald eagle nest monitoring form

BEST Training Video:



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