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One to 5 pairs of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were in the captive propagation project at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center during 1976-80. Four pairs produced viable eggs or young by natural mating in one or more years. Pairs laid second clutches 9 of 11 times when their first clutches were collected within 8 days of clutch completion. Sixty-nine percent of fertile artificially incubated eggs hatched; 93% of fertile parent-incubated eggs hatched. Eleven eaglets from artificially incubated eggs were hand reared. Age of birds at the time they were acquired from the wild was not a factor in their reproductive success. Ten hand-reared and 2 parent-reared young were fostered to adult Bald Eagles at active wild nests; 11 were accepted and survived. Eleven parent-reared young were provided to hacking projects. Egg transplants to wild nests were conducted, but discontinued because of poor success. Double clutching of captive pairs has not resulted in substantially increased numbers of eaglets. Additional research is needed in artificial incubation, artificial insemination, and nutrition and care of hand-reared eaglets.
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Captive propagation of bald eagles at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and introductions into the wild, 1976-80