East Bay Municipal Utility District

Bald eagles, once perilously close to extinction, have shown remarkable resilience in recent decades. The EBMUD watershed provides critical habitat for these majestic birds of prey, and we are pleased to report growing numbers in the East Bay and Sierra Nevada foothills.

Our lands and reservoirs provide protected breeding grounds for bald eagles and abundant hunting grounds. And we take special measures to increase their chances of survival, such as suspending tree removals and other vegetation management during their breeding season. These efforts are contributing to the local revival of one of North America’s largest birds.

Last winter, for the first time in nearly 40 years of annual surveys, our biologists and rangers observed bald eagles in all four of the East Bay reservoirs we monitor – Briones, San Pablo, Lafayette and Upper San Leandro – as well as Pardee and Camanche reservoirs inland.

This comeback story was neither quick nor easy. Bald eagles suffered a steep decline nationwide in the 1960s due to the harmful effects of DDT, a now-banned pesticide that caused their eggshells to thin. But since the mid-1970s, the birds have made an inspiring recovery. They were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007, and while they are still classified as endangered in California, their numbers are growing statewide.

Today, bald eagles nest annually in several well-known locations in the Bay Area. At San Pablo Reservoir, for example, EBMUD biologists have observed 34 fledged bald eagles over the past seventeen years, which has contributed to the increase in nesting here and elsewhere in the region. EBMUD’s management of natural resources guarantees the highest quality drinking water for our customers. We’re proud that it also supports healthy habitats where bald eagles and countless other species thrive.

Above: Pardee Reservoir visitor Bob Marcy photographed this bald eagle in January.

We invite you to enjoy bird watching, hiking and more on the EBMUD watersheds. Share feedback about your experiences through our Recreation user research. Your input matters!