Rodney Stotts is a master falconer who teaches people of all ages about raptors. In the 1990s, he helped reintroduce eagles to the Anacostia River, which runs through Washington, DC. As part of the Earth Conservation Corps, Rodney helped take care of eagle chicks sent from Wisconsin, where the species was more plentiful. Now, Bald Eagles consistently nest along the river, meaning that people living nearby can enjoy them.
Spark Bird: Rodney Stotts on Bringing Eagles Back to DC
Written by Conor Gearin
This is BirdNote.
[music: “Idle Ways”]
Rodney Stotts is a master falconer who teaches people of all ages about raptors. One of his first experiences in conservation was helping clean up the Anacostia River, which runs through Washington, DC. In the early 90s, the river lacked a crucial part of its ecosystem: Bald Eagles.
Rodney Stotts: There were no nesting pairs of Bald Eagles along the Anacostia, the Chesapeake, and the Potomac basically.
As part of the Earth Conservation Corps, Rodney helped take care of eagle chicks sent from Wisconsin, where the species was more plentiful. The group built an artificial nest for the chicks and released them once they grew to adult size.
[Bald Eagle juvenile calls, ML 42555, 0:08-0:11]
Rodney Stotts: So then we started seeing, maybe 2-3 years later, nesting pairs along the Anacostia. And then from that point on it just exploded. So now there’s at least about 6-7 nesting pairs from the Anacostia out to the Potomac. For me it was exciting; it was more exciting to have something that other people will get to enjoy. I know that future generations will get to see something that I almost didn’t get to see.
[Bald Eagle call, ML 41093751, 0:25-0:26]
Learn more in Rodney’s new book with Kate Pipkin, Bird Brother: A Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife.
Find a link on our website, BirdNote DOT org. I’m Ariana Remmel.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Bald Eagle ML 42555 recorded by G. Budney, and Bald Eagle ML 41093751 recorded by P. Marvin.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote March 2022 Narrator: Ariana Remmel
ID# sparkbird-17-2022-02-24 sparkbird-17