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First statewide bald eagle nesting survey finds 30 active nests

Eagle was found sitting in a tree on the shore of Mt. L on the Quabbin reseviour . Takes from a boat.

Eagle was found sitting in a tree on the shore of Mt. L on the Quabbin reseviour . Takes from a boat.

Officials have verified 30 active bald eagle nests in the state, including eight nests along the Connecticut River, six at the Quabbin Reservoir and four along the Merrimack River during Massachusetts’ first bald eagle nesting survey. The survey, coordinated by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, was conducted on April 5.

“We are encouraged ... as we continue to find increasing numbers of eagles nesting in Massachusetts,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin.

In addition to the principal bald eagle nesting territories along the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers and at Quabbin Reservoir, other active nests were observed at Wachusett Reservoir, and in the towns of Framingham, Brookfield, Pittsfield, Webster, Middleborough, Fall River and Plymouth. One nest failure was reported at Assawompsett Pond in Lakeville, where the wind blew a nest and two eggs out of the nest tree in early April.

Additional eagle sightings were reported in Arlington, Carver, Lunenburg, Russell, Sandisfield and along the Housatonic River.

Bald eagles, the largest bird of prey native to Massachusetts with a body length of about 3 feet and a wingspan of up to 7 feet, have increased in numbers in Massachusetts since being reintroduced to the Quabbin Reservoir between 1982 and 1988. The species was down listed from Endangered to Threatened status in Massachusetts in 2011 and removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007.

Reports of bald eagle sightings are welcome throughout the year. Individuals may email reports to natural.heritage@state.ma.us or mail them to “Eagle Survey,” Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, 100 Hartwell St., Suite 230, West Boylston, MA 01583.

This is great news for Mass. ! I would love to be able to post this article on the Hancock Wildlife Foundation Forum where our main focus is the bald eagle but nobody would be able to read it!! :o(

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