Wildlife biologist to address Audubon on Georgia’s eagles

The eagle population in Georgia is recovering from historic lows, but these magnificent raptors still face challenges. A state wildlife biologist will present the latest information on Peach State eagles at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct., 2, in the Ecology Building Auditorium at the University of Georgia. Free on-campus parking is available after 6 p.m. outside the Ecology Building.

Jim Ozier, nongame program manager with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife division, will discuss the state’s bald eagle nesting population and golden eagle migratory obstacles in “Conservation of Eagles in Georgia – Successes and Challenges.” Soaring bald eagles were probably once common in Georgia but suffered severe declines into the 1970s, when there were no known nesting pairs in the state. The population is recovering, with 188 known nesting territories statewide in the 2014 season. Ozier’s talk will include information about cooperating with landowners who have nesting sites and diseases that are affecting America’s national symbol. Ozier also will reveal how important the Southern Appalachian Mountains are for wintering golden eagles, which nest in eastern Canada, and the increasing obstacles these birds face in their annual migration.

Ozier, who has a master’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Georgia, has worked with the DNR for more than 25 years, joining the agency’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program in 1992. He has worked with landowners and government agencies on wildlife management, the conservation of rare species, and protecting sensitive habitats.

The program will begin around 7, but guests are welcome to arrive early to share in fellowship with Audubon members.

To reach the Ecology Building parking lot from the Loop 10 bypass, exit at College Station Road and turn west toward campus. Turn right on East Campus Road (the first signal-light intersection after the railroad tracks) and drive north. Turn left at the second traffic light onto West Green Street. Turn right into the S-07 parking lot; the Ecology Building is on the north side of the parking lot behind a row of trees.

For more information, visit www.oconeeriversaudubon.org or contact Audubon chapter President Richard Hall at president@oconeeriversaudubon.org or Publicity Chair Roger Nielsen at publicity@oconeeriversaudubon.org.

Oconee Rivers Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization of people brought together by a love of birds and nature. We strive to promote conservation and provide a voice for environmental issues, we organize several local conservation projects each year, and we host public presentations on subjects related to birds, nature, and conservation at our monthly meetings, held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month in the ENSAT building at Sandy Creek Nature Center, 205 Old Commerce Road, Athens. www.oconeeriversaudubon.org