Third Annual Long Island Natural History Conference












Bald eagles nesting on Long Island

Michael S. Scheibel, The Nature Conservancy

The return of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) as a nesting species in the Long Island region and throughout New York State is one of the most successful wildlife restoration stories of our time. Presented here is the history and current status of Bald eagle nesting on Long Island, natural history information including nest sites, courtship, nesting chronology, food preferences and longevity. In 1976, the Endangered Species Unit of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, led by Peter Nye undertook a thirteen year restoration project using a process known as “hacking” to re-establish a breeding population of eagles in the state. Reasons for their decline and current threats will also be discussed.

Michael S. Scheibel ( is the Natural Resources Manager for The Nature Conservancy of Long Island, at the Mashomack Preserve, Shelter Island, NY. He received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Cornell University in 1971, worked for nearly 20 years as a Senior Wildlife Biologist for NYSDEC specializing in endangered species projects on Long Island. Mr. Scheibel helped develop the Long Island Colonial Waterbird Survey in the early 1980’s and collected data which led to the listing of the Piping Plover and the Least Tern as “endangered” in NYS. He also served as the NY representative on the federal Roseate Tern Recovery Team from 1988 – 1999.