PHOENIX (AP) - State wildlife officials say fewer bald eagles have been born in Arizona this year despite a record number of breeding areas for the 2019 season.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department said Monday raptor biologists have counted 71 eagle nestlings this year, down from 87 hatched in 2018.
The birds are protected nationally by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Arizona population has flourished since 1978, when 11 pairs were counted in the state. There are now an estimated 74 adult breeding pairs.
Wildlife experts attribute the population's gradual recovery to the efforts of a committee comprised of Arizona Game and Fish, other government agencies, private organizations and Native American tribes.
The breeding season for bald eagles in Arizona runs generally from December through June.