Posts Tagged ‘Bald Eagles’

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

DEC: Tips for spotting bald eagles

A pair of bald eagles

Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at planned observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. Wintering eagles begin arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading to their nests by mid-March.

The Hudson River, the Upper Delaware River watershed, and sections of the St. Lawrence River are great places to view bald eagles in the winter. DEC maintains two well-marked viewing areas in the Mongaup Valley on the Rio and Mongaup Falls reservoirs.

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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Offering visitors a unique experience while banding hummingbirds at Stillwater

Children watch a man band hummingbirds

With all the weather and fire events that are happening, it’s hard to keep track and report on all of them. Here we sit with water up to our eyeballs [in the Adirondacks.] A hurricane hit California and other western states will be getting the rain from it…all the way to the Canadian border. This looks like it will drown areas in California, Nevada, and Arizona. [However,] it may not be enough to help with the fires in Oregon and Washington, as it may go too far to the east. The Canadian provinces won’t be getting much of it there either, where it is needed. They evacuated 20,000 people from the town of Yellow Knife in the Northwest Territory, as fires were within two miles of the town. That’s got to be a scary situation to drive away, not knowing what you might come back to with fires that big.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 3, 2023

Rebate Available for Eligible Hunters to Purchase Non-Lead Ammunition

bald eagles
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced DEC is seeking hunters to participate in a multi-year study of non-lead ammunition impacts on the State’s eagle conservation efforts. DEC is partnering with the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University, U.S. Geological Survey, and Conservation Science Global on the study to determine the reduction in bald and golden eagle deaths that can be achieved from increased use of non-lead ammunition for deer hunting.

Eagles can ingest lead bullet fragments when scavenging the remains left behind after a hunter field dresses a deer. While the bald eagle population is doing well in New York, research has shown that lead-related mortality has slowed population growth. The golden eagle population in the eastern U.S. is relatively stable, although vulnerable to a potential population decline due to lead poisoning. This study aims to determine whether this source of mortality can be reduced by increasing the proportion of hunters using non-lead ammunition.

To help recruit hunters to participate in the study, DEC’s research partners will be offering rebates of up to $60 for the purchase of certified non-lead ammunition and participation in pre- and post-hunt surveys. Administration of the rebates will be fulfilled by Conservation Science Global. Participation in the rebate program is voluntary and will be available to hunters issued a Deer Management Permit (DMP) in the following Wildlife Management Units (WMUs): 3H, 4F, 4G, 4H, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4W, and 6G. These WMUs were selected based on greater abundance of eagles and deer harvest success. Focusing eligibility to these areas will concentrate the impact of non-lead ammunition use, allowing for a greater ability to estimate the effects on eagle populations.

The first year of the study will be implemented during the 2023-24 hunting season. DEC expects to continue offering rebates during the 2024 and 2025 hunting seasons. For more information and where eligible hunters can participate, visit the Hunters for Eagle Conservation website.

This research was identified as a high priority in DEC’s report, “Minimizing Risks to Wildlife and People from Lead Hunting Ammunition.” Since the release of this report in April 2022, DEC and partners have taken several steps to implement recommendations in the plan towards minimizing the risks associated with lead ammunition for hunting. For more information, visit DEC’s website.

DEC photo


Saturday, June 10, 2023

Paddling an unofficial preserve

bald eagle

The appearance of the eagle was startling as it left its unseen perch and flew low and directly overhead. Paddling upstream through the channel to Canada Lake, it disappeared around the corner where a sawmill once stood in 1867.

After the Hornbeck Canoe also turned the corner, it was pleasing to see that the eagle had perched once again, even if much higher off the water.

“There he is! “— Photo and exclamation by the author.

It remained perched as I approached.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 7, 2023

Legion of nutcrackers take a long winter’s nap, juvenile loon freed from Fourth Lake ice

Loon in the ice

Our New Year’s weekend was a washout for sure, with rain and warmer temperatures taking a toll on what snow we had. What I see out my front window is mostly bare ground where there was over 18 inches of snow a week ago. I had a fisher and a coyote visit the deer carcass on the dam during daylight hours, which meant they were hungry. There were four Ravens and a pair of Bald Eagles waiting their turn in the treetops on the other side of the pond. Now that the snow is nearly gone, I haven’t seen any of them. I still have over fifty Evening Grosbeaks coming daily to the feeders, and the two White-Throated Sparrows are still sneaking seeds and hiding in the brush pile. There are still some new Black-Capped Chickadees coming to the feeders as I’ve banded almost twenty hatch-year birds in the last two weeks.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Graduation of 38 NYS Forest Rangers brings back memories of becoming a Ranger in 1965

Graduating Forest Rangers

We had a trickle of winter white, but we could use more. I believe the ground froze, as we had a few nights around twenty [degrees] before this little snowfall. Some loons forgot to leave, and three were frozen in First Lake yesterday [Sunday, December 11]. Two flew out during the day, and I have not heard about the other one. There were [also] a couple Bald Eagles keeping watch and waiting for a snack. Please remind your children to stay off the ice until we have some really cold weather [for the sake of their safety]. This on-and-off warm then cold weather hasn’t made the ice safe yet, so stay off [it] as a fall through the ice can be life threatening.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Cardinal flowers, a penguin-walking Loon, and a fish-snatching Bald Eagle

I visited all my Loon lakes this last week, including some that I hadn’t been to all summer. I was happy to find some of those pairs had chicks. One was Woodhull Lake where there are five pairs of Loons, and a few of them are banded. A Loon called right off the dock while I was putting the boat into the water, but it didn’t have any chicks. Going up the lake, I got all the way to Brooktrout Point before I heard another Loon. I looked ahead, and I could see two Loons with a single chick. I didn’t even get close, and the male was penguin-walking to distract me from the chick and then both were up and penguin walking. I kept going toward the landing at the end of the lake and I bumped right into another pair with two bigger chicks, and they did nothing but swim away from me.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Sanibel Island pond frenzy: More than 100 birds amongst alligators one chaotic morning

I’ve been hearing from some of my northern neighbors that snow is still falling, but the ice is out in some lakes and Loons have returned to those open waters. Other big predator birds like Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons may already be on eggs or at least looking at nest sites. The Peregrines just lay their eggs on a rock ledge, building ledge or bridge beam with no nest material.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sunshine, sand, and a sunglasses-clad Sheltie on Sanibel Island

I see that some snow is still falling on you folks up north, but it is in the eighties down here on Sanibel Island and the water is also very nice. Just before leaving there was a world of birds still using the feeders and several birds feeding on the carcasses on the dam. The last evening, I had a mature Bald Eagle and immature Bald Eagle feeding right up until dark. The bunch of Slate-colored Juncos that had come out of the woods or moved north were under the feeders right until dark as well.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Bald Eagle – A National and a New York State Conservation Success Story

adult bald eagle

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the bald eagle population in the lower 48 states has grown, since 2009, from just over 72,000, including roughly 30,000 breeding pairs, to an estimated 316,700 birds, something Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, recently called, “truly a historic conservation success story.” 

At the start of the 20th century, New York was home to more than 70 nesting pairs of bald eagles and was the wintering ground for several hundred. But by 1960, only one nesting pair remained and a scant few dozen overwintered here. Today however, as a result of protection and active management, New York State is home to more than 426 occupied bald eagle nest sites. (Source: New York Natural Heritage Program; a partnership between the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Threats to the Long-Lived Bald Eagle

Eagle Facts

The bald eagle is a long-lived bird, with a lifespan in the wild of more than 30 years. Bald eagles mate for life, returning to nest in the general area (within 250 miles) from which they fledged. Once a pair selects a nesting territory, they use it for the rest of their lives. However, bald eagles face threats to their long lifespan and nesting territories due to a wide range of human impacts including habitat loss and plastic pollution. Plastics can find their way into eagle nests in the form of nest building materials, can be ingested through scavenging or through their prey, or cause entanglement leading to injury or death.

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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County

eaglesThis is an outstanding opportunity to see three American bald eagles devouring their lunch, but even more fantastic of an opportunity to be able to learn there’s more to the story.

Bill Straite of Oneida County sent us this photo a while ago. No doubt, it’s a great one! DEC wildlife biologists noticed right away the center eagle was banded, and contacted the federal bird banding laboratory to learn more about it.

The eagle was banded in June 1995 – 26 years ago – in Parishville, NY, St. Lawrence County.

Photo courtesy of Bill Straite.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Bald Eagle Viewing in Winter

Bald eagleWinter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at planned observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. Wintering eagles begin arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading back to their nests by mid-March.

The Hudson River, the Upper Delaware River watershed, and sections of the St. Lawrence River are great places to view bald eagles in the winter. DEC maintains two well-marked viewing areas in the Mongaup Valley on the Rio and Mongaup Falls reservoirs.

The following tips will help you to have the best possible experience:

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

Bald Eagle: America’s ‘comeback kid’

The bald eagle is not only our nation’s most recognizable natural symbol, and the only eagle found exclusively in North America, it is also the Endangered Species Act’s most prominent success story, and a reminder of how important are the protection of our wildlife, critical habitat and natural resources generally.

Populations of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower forty-eight states crashed in the late 1960s to just over 400 pairs, due to hunting, habitat destruction and most prominently, the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture, such as DDT. In a scary process, known as “biomagnification,” bald eagles, being an apex predator at the top on their food chain, and feeding mainly on  fish, occasional small rodents and carrion, in other words, wildlife which had themselves absorbed toxins in various forms ultimately from pesticide-laden vegetation or runoff from agricultural fields, suffer highly concentrated, elevated levels of these toxins, negatively impacting birth and mortality rates. Calcium deficiencies caused by the toxins resulted in the thinning of eggshells, which would collapse under the nesting female’s weight, causing a nosedive in successful eaglet births.

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Bald Eagle: National symbol, bird of ‘bad moral character’?

Part one of two about the bald eagle

Ben Franklin, the statesman, philosopher, naturalist, inventor and all around Renaissance Man, was not all that thrilled with the choice of the Bald Eagle as our national symbol, and seemed to prefer the wild turkey as a utilitarian symbol, which is uniquely American, and often spelled the difference between our wilderness forefathers eating or starving. In a letter to his daughter, Franklin said, in part…..

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk (osprey); and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. 

» Continue Reading.



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