Find more projects

Arizona Bald Eagle Nest Watch Program

Main Project Information
Presented By Arizona Game and Fish Department
Goal To collect data on breeding bald eagles, and educate the public.
Task Daily monitoring of a bald eagle breeding attempt.
Where Arizona

The Arizona Bald Eagle Nest Watch Program is dedicated to the study and conservation of bald eagles in the Southwest. A corps of paid Nest Watchers monitors the eagles during their breeding season. As many as 16 trained observers, in teams of two, work in the field for the entire nesting season collecting data and protecting nest sites from natural and manmade disturbances.

Although working conditions can be rugged and some eagle territories are in remote locations, nest watchers feel privileged to be a part of the program and develop a special bond with "their" pair of eagles.

The goals of the nest watch program are:

- To protect the desert nesting bald eagles, their nests and nestlings

- To collect data on life history, nesting habits and surroundings of breeding bald eagles

- To provide information for further conservation efforts for bald eagles

- To educate the public about bald eagles

Typically, the Nest Watchers work ten days on and four days off. Most of their time is spent watching the nest through a spotting scope and tracking the eagles with binoculars. Nest Watchers use photos, maps, and grids to record flight paths, perches, feeding stations, and foraging areas. The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not provide any housing; Nest Watchers camp out at the breeding area and provide their own equipment and food.

Nest Watchers wearing official t-shirts and caps also protect breeding area closures by asking people to stay away from the nests and reporting any airspace violations by low flying aircraft. Nest Watchers also provide information about bald eagles to the public.

How to Join

For more information on the Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web page at, call Kenneth Jacobson at (623) 236-7575, or e-mail at If you wish to participate in this nationally recognized conservation effort, request for applications begins in October and closes late November. Information can be downloaded from the website by selecting “Contracts and Bid Search”, “Bids”, and searching for “Nestwatch" under Bid Description.

Project Timing Applications are generally accepted from October to November with monitoring around the first Friday in February.
Ideal Age Group Adults
Ideal Frequency Every day
Average Time Several hours
Spend the Time outdoors
Training Materials
Tags arizona, bald eagle, bird, conservation, nest
Project Updated 05/23/2018