PHOENIX — The number of new bald eagles in Arizona has dipped from last year despite more breeding areas.
The population of nestlings — birds too young to leave the nest — dropped from 87 last year to 71 this year.
Egg counts dipped slightly, from 102 to 97, as did the tally of fledglings, from 70 to 63.
Kenneth Jacobson, bald eagle management coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said such slowdowns are not uncommon and that expanded breeding areas suggest a strong population.
Since receiving endangered status in 1978, adult breeding pairs in the state have expanded from 11 to 74.
Though no longer listed as a protected species, the birds still are shielded by federal law.