BALD EAGLES: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

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Bald eagles: Santa Cruz Island

1886 Santa Cruz Island: Eli Whitney Blake, Jr. visited Santa Cruz Island twice in 1886: from July 4- July 24, and again August 6-September 3. During his visits, Blake camped in a canyon near Platt's Harbor. He noted:

Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Bald Eagle. — Perbaps eight or nine different individuals seen and three empty nests, on island rocks.


1898 Santa Cruz Island: “...Following is a list of birds observed during my stay:- **Bald Eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) ...The species marked with an asterisk were seen but not taken.”
Mailliard, Jos., Spring Notes on the Birds of Santa Cruz Island, Cal., April,1898 The Condor 1(1):41-45, April 1899


1907 Santa Cruz Island:Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus. Bald Eagle. Adults and birds of the year seen at each camp.” [“At 11:30 p. m., November 19, 1907, my father (H. Linton), Mr. George Willett, and myself left San Pedro harbor in a dilapidated fishing smack and in company with a crawfisherman, one “Cold-foot” Jorgensen. We arrived off the south end of Santa Cruz Island at 10:30 the following day during a stiff norwester. For various reasons we were unable to make camp until the 22nd. It may not be amiss to state here that twice during the blow we were nearly wrecked: once while at anchor in Potatoe Harbor, a broken anchor allowing the boat to drift within the breaker line and nearly onto the rocks. In this instance the timely arrival of Willett and H. Linton in a small boat, saved the day, and incidentally the fishing smack. At another time (the engine having broken down) we were blown nearly onto the rocks of Anacapa Island; but with father at the wheel and Willett and I on the “sheet” we managed to hold her off. I mention the foregoing, and the many sleepless nights spent on the rocky shores, “running” the surf several times each day (with attendant duckings), etc., merely as a warning to those who seem inclined to believe a field naturalist’s life “strewn with roses”. (It's generally strewn with cacti!)”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from Santa Cruz Island] The Condor 10(3):124-129, May 1908


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island H. W. Henshaw BMNH 1875 BMNH-1891.3.1.488 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ March 6, 1916 WFVZ-97197 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island S. B. Peyton CMNH March 6, 1916 CMNH-1682 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger MVZ March 4, 1918 MVZ-7778 Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island J. R. Pemberton WFVZ March 10, 1928 WFVZ-3226 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island J. R. Pemberton WFVZ March 11, 1928 WFVZ-3227 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island "LMO" 991. Pick up. Killed by sheepmen. WFVZ May 1, 1929 UCLA-40515 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Birds
Santa Cruz Island L. T. Stevens SBMNH April 5, 1931 SBMNH-20805 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island L. T. Stevens SBMNH March 9, 1935 SBMNH-20809 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island L. T. Stevens SBMNH March 10, 1935 SBMNH-20811 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island E. N. Harrison WFVZ March 10, 1935 WFVZ-172981 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs



Collectors of bald eagle egg sets include:

Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
  • 1936 E.L. Curtis & R.C. Miller (sclerotic eye rings)
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. WFVZ Bird Collections



In the News~

March 1919-September 1921 Santa Cruz Island superintendent reported: “The bald eagles were very numerous and killed many lambs. I never knew one to take a lamb over a few days old. They would take a small lamb to the top of the tree crag and, holding it in their claws, peel the skin off very much as we would a banana, eat the lamb and drop the skin, head and feet at the foot of the tree or crag. Often we would find many small skins at the foot of one of their favorite perches…”


March 20, 1919 [WODD]: “This morning it rained liberally, but cleared off about noon; so, this afternoon we [William Oberlin Dawson and Robert Canterbury] went east along the coast to hunt for an eagle’s nest that an old fisherman told us about…Bob found it unexpectedly when the bird flew off… We went way around two or three points back and climbed up so as to look down on the eagle’s nest… There were two eggs! …”


'August 1925 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Leaflet noted the “bald eagle can be seen and noted by any intelligent visitor” to Santa Cruz Island.