3 Bald Eagles: Merrimack River, Lawrence

December 5, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I1194-001Two adult Bald Eagles perched along Merrimack River, 125 yards apart, and then a third adult flies in from the west, loops a number of times and lands on a proximate perch, while one of other eagles takes off downriver; quite a nice show!  The number of wintering Bald Eagles along the Merrimack continues to grow as the weather gets colder.

_W7I1341-001

Bald Eagle perched Merrimack River, North Andover

December 4, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I1120-001Another bright sunny morning, clear skies, winds light from NE under 5MPH, and temps in mid-30’s.  Observed this adult Bald Eagle on a regular perch overhanging the Merrimack River in North Andover.  This perch location is a regular one at this time of year.  It is just down river from where Sutton Pond empties into the Merrimack River, to the east of the Rt. 495 overpass.

Bald Eagle: Merrimack River

November 16, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I7508-001In these late fall days, Bald Eagles are seen both solo and in pairs along the Merrimack River in Lawrence and North Andover.  They perch high up on branches that overhang the river.  They tend to select locations that provide excellent visibility up and down the river.  Bald eagle winter roosting sites typically contain open water, ample food, limited human disturbance, and protection from predators. Preferred roosts are usually coniferous or deciduous super-canopy trees.

This adult Bald Eagle did have leg bands.  They were only visible later when the Eagle departed in flight.  Stay tuned!

2 Bald Eagle adults and 1 fledgling!

August 15, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I4213-001Had a nice chance to observe two adult Bald Eagles and a fledgling this morning, along the Merrimack River in Essex County. The fledgling leaped up into flight from rocks along the river bed. It then hopped from one perch to another and then remained in place for a while under overcast skies, light rain, winds from SW at 5MPH, high humidity, and temp just above 70F.

After leaving the nest, fledgling Bald Eagles are not very adept at catching fish. They pick up dead fish along shorelines first, and then progress to picking up dead fish floating in rivers and lakes. It may take months for a young fledgling to start catching its own live fish, and much longer for it to become reliable at fishing. So young eagles must spend more time fishing to catch the same number of fish as adults. For these fledglings, the first months in flight are a time of enormous learning and exploring the world around them.

This fledgling was one of 3 eaglets that hatched and fledged early in the second week of July.  So this young Eagle has had about 5 weeks on the wing and will become less dependent on parents for food in weeks ahead.

Bald Eagle juveniles on the Merrimack River

August 9, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I4052-001The 3 fledgling Bald Eagles continue to be seen along the Merrimack River in Essex County.  They remain fairly close to the general nest site location and seem to maintain a lessening dependence on the parents for food.  After fledging, they were very vocal and begging for food.  The incessant cries for food have diminished as they continue to develop flight skills and began finding food on their own.  Observed this fledgling, circling over the river in bright morning sun! Another fledgling was nearby along with one adult.

Bald Eagle nest: Essex County

June 15, 2017 in Bald Eagle

As the Bald Eagle chicks grown in size the nest starts to become very crowded!  The 3 chicks are now very close to fledge time. The female remains near the nest and on watch most of the time.

Eaglets are nestlings for 10 to 12 weeks. By the time they are 9 weeks old, they are fully grown.

Some scientists did a study keeping track of all the time that the parent eagles spent at the nest. Once the babies hatched, the female was present at the nest about 90% of the time. The male was present about 50% of the time. During the study, at least one of the parents was at the nest almost all the time.

The young nestlings are directly fed raw meat starting day one. Eagles do not regurgitate food to feed their young like some other animals do.During the first two weeks, the male provides most of the food. After 3 or 4 weeks, the female provides as much food as the male, and by the late nesting period, the female provides most of the food.

Bald Eagle nest: Essex County

June 12, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I9444-001The 3 Bald Eagle chicks continue to grow in size and shape. Adults will feed their chicks directly until the eaglets are five to six weeks old, when the young are able to tear pieces of food off and feed themselves.

By age 5 weeks, male and female parents bring relatively equal amounts of food. Parents begin spending more time away from the young and often perch in nearby trees. By six weeks the young are able to stand and walk, and by seven weeks maximum body growth nearing completion.

At eight weeks, they are at their hungriest and are ready to fly by week twelve. By the time chicks are 9 weeks old, they are fully grown. Chicks continue on the nest gaining strength for 10 to 12 weeks.

Bald Eagle Essex County nest #1: nestling!

April 11, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I4285-001A late afternoon visit to Bald Eagle nest #1 in Essex county for nice looks at the young eagle nestling.  Rough estimate that this young baby eagle is about 3-4 weeks old.  No sign yet that there is another young bird in the nest.  This was a moment when the adults were not in the nest and the the young nestling was up and about checking out the local surroundings!

Bald Eagle Essex County nest #2

April 11, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I4186-001A stunning morning with cobalt blue skies, bright sun, winds from the south at 8MPH, and temps in low 60’s.  Observed  a beautiful adult Bald Eagle near an occupied nest, taking a break while the mate incubated eggs.  Hatch time for this nest is right about now and we should see signs of feeding young over next few days!

Bald Eagle adult perched Merrimack River

April 4, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I1111-001On a cloudy overcast morning with light rain, winds from the East at 16MPH, gusting 25MPH and temps reaching 40F, was surprised to find an adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree overlooking the Merrimack River.  For most local Bald Eagles, it is nesting time and time for protecting the nest habitat unless not there yet!  This perched Eagle was in North Andover seen from the Incinerator Rd ballfield complex next to the Essex county Pre-Release Center in Lawrence, MA.