Bald Eagle Sighted Over the Hoosic River in North Adams
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Photographer Rick Duteau, who helps cover sports at iBerkshires, caught images of a bald eagle on Thursday taking a break above one of the American flags that have been hung over the Hoosic River.
The eagle has been seen recently in this area, just above the Eclipse Dam off Beaver Street. It apparently drew a crowd on its most recent siting.
Bald eagles were re-introduced into Massachusetts in the early 1980s. According to Massachusetts Audubon, the last presumed nesting of these birds of prey had been around the turn of the 20th century. The species was endangered by the use of DDT, which softened or eliminated the baby birds' shells. Since the banning of DDT in 1972, the nation's symbol has moved from the "endangered" list to "threatened" status.
Haliaeetus leucocephalus is a scavenger that prefers carrion but will seek small prey, especially fish. It is the largest raptor in the state with a wingspan up to 7 feet. Bald eagles have also been sighted in recent years along Cheshire Reservoir. Audubon's most recent bird listing (no date given) shows confirmed and possible sightings mostly in Central and South County and one block that appears to be Cheshire Reservoir.
About 30 bald eagles were counted in Vermont in 2017, but that was in the northern and northwestern part of the state along Lake Champlain and as far south as Lake Bomoseen.
On the other hand, MassWildlife in 2018 counted 76 pairs of bald eagles in the state, a more than 20 percent increase over 2016. The state agency is looking for information on nests or nesting birds, including "adults carrying sticks or nest lining material are of special interest." Observations can be sent to State Ornithologist Andrew Vitz at firstname.lastname@example.org. MassWildLife has more information on the birds here.
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