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Bald Eagles On Eggs

3-19-18 bald eagle2 049A4432

Thanks in large part to the Vermont Bald Eagle Restoration Initiative, seeing eagles in Vermont is not all that unusual these days, even in winter. The open water of Lake Champlain (as well as ice fishermen and White-tailed Deer carcasses in other parts of the state) allow them to survive here during our coldest months. Vermont’s mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey documented 84 eagles in January, 2018.

Equally as encouraging is the growing breeding population of eagles in this state. This past year 21 adult Bald Eagle pairs successfully produced 35 young in Vermont. The return of eagles to their nest site is always a much- anticipated event, which often coincides with the opening up of the Connecticut River for at least one pair that nests on its banks (see photo).

Eggs have been laid and eagles (both male and female) are engaged in incubating them for the next month.  One can’t help but be impressed by their perseverance — recently they endured three Nor’easters in 10 days while incubating their eggs (note snow on rim of nest)!

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20 responses

  1. Barbara

    Good morning,
    Great picture! Is this a local (Hartland/Woodstock are) picture?

    March 23, 2018 at 8:10 am

  2. Diane

    The photo is enhanced with the pine cones!

    March 23, 2018 at 8:13 am

  3. Although no eagles have been seen nesting close to the Mystic Lakes (Arlington/Medford), in the off-season you can almost be guaranteed wonderful views of eagles of all ages, especially near the dam. A birding friend and I were among to first to have seen them there over ten years ago and their appearances have only increased. If you live nearby, check them out.

    March 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

  4. Alice Pratt

    Majestic, impressive, caring and so resilient!

    March 23, 2018 at 8:45 am

  5. sarahschweitzer

    This is in Windsor!!!! Wonder if we could go see this weekend?


    March 23, 2018 at 8:50 am

    • I’m afraid it’s on private land, and the owners aren’t there to give permission, so I don’t feel free to invite others to view it, unfortunately. Contact me via email ( ) later in the spring and I will see what I can do!

      March 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm

  6. Sharon C Kroker

    Such great news! It is always breathtaking to see one!

    March 23, 2018 at 9:16 am

  7. Bill On The Hill...

    The return of the bald eagle is a tremendous success story for sure.
    It is nice to see them breeding across Vermont now…
    The eaglets should be ready for flight towards the end of July, 8 – 10 weeks from hatching.
    Sometimes longer than 10 weeks, depending on the eaglets bravery ( or lack thereof ) & how hungry it gets as the parents start cutting back on food deliveries towards the end…
    Great post once again Mary.
    You always deliver!
    Bill Farr…

    March 23, 2018 at 10:04 am

  8. Thank you for all the data regarding eagle-counts ! I didn’t realize our success rate was so high.

    March 23, 2018 at 10:56 am

  9. I suspect the South Royalton-Bethel dump is also a factor. Every time I’ve seen a bald eagle recently it’s been flying away from the dump.

    March 23, 2018 at 11:47 am

    • Alice Pratt

      😝 who knows what they eat, there☹️

      March 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm

  10. Alice Pratt

    Showed your photo to my just 3 1/2 yr old grand-daughter today & explained about DDT & read ‘Animal Eyes!’ She learned how to tell ‘boy & girl’ Box Turtles apart!

    March 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm

  11. We have an amazing event here in Nova Scotia in February called “Eagle Watch”. It’s in Canning. I’ve gone a few times and have seen over 20 Eagles perched in trees at one time …

    March 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

  12. Deb Hawthorn

    How nice to see that piece about you in yesterday’s Valley News, Mary. Congratulations!

    March 24, 2018 at 6:50 pm

  13. Deb Hawthorn

    For those of you outside the Upper Valley, here’s the link to yesterday’s piece about Mary:

    March 24, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    • Alice Pratt

      Deb: thank you so much for that link!

      March 24, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    • Bill On The Hill...

      Thank you Deb Hawthorn… Had you not posted this link I would have never known the story was out there…
      I, generally speaking avoid the Valley Snooze due to their extreme liberal point of views…
      Bill Farr…

      March 26, 2018 at 8:29 am

  14. Kathie Fiveash

    On the coast of Maine, the bald eagle population has been growing by leaps and bounds since the ban of DDT. Inland, the eagles still fish from lakes and rivers. The coastal eagles now eat mostly seabirds rather than fish (which are in short supply), hunting gulls and eider ducks and other sea ducks successfully. Unfortunately they also fly out to seabird nesting islands where they prey on eggs and chicks. This has become a big problem in seabird conservation efforts – puffins, murres, razorbills, a variety of ducks, gulls, cormorants – all are vulnerable to eagle predation. And some, like the puffins, murres, razorbills, and great cormorants, are on the edge of survival in the Gulf of Maine.

    March 25, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    • Thank you for your valuable input, Kathie. Made me think of the loons here in VT which have been subject to predation by eagles.

      March 25, 2018 at 5:26 pm

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