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Late winter eagle viewing

If weather and other conditions hold, there should be some migrant eagles left in the region as you read this. Most of the migrants depart by the end of February or beginning of March. A good anecdotal rule of thumb is that if you have seen the first turkey vulture in this region, you have seen the last migrant eagle, but the rules that apply to nature are not always hard and fast.

The last couple of months of reported observations in the Upper Delaware and Mongaup areas have shown that eagle viewers have had a decent early and mid January, with a relatively slow February. At the same time, eagle viewers in the Hudson region have been seeing many eagles. Preliminary results for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation aerial survey, performed during January 12, show near-normal numbers of eagles as past years, but the observer ground counts are still in the process of being tabulated.

If you go on an eagle-viewing trip, be sure to check on the Eagle Institute web page,, or call 570/685-5960 for late observations, directions and “eagle etiquette” guidelines, to ensure a successful viewing trip with the least disturbance for the eagles.

TRR photo by Scott Rando
The antenna on this two-and-a-half-year-old eagle at Mongaup , spotted last week, is a platform terminal transmitter (PTT) used for tracking eagles via satellite. The PTT was fitted during the spring of 2006 during a NYSDEC nest visit as part of a study to track immature eagle movements. (Click for larger version)
TRR photo by Scott Rando
A sub-adult eagle appears to be chasing a younger eagle during a recent trip to Lackawaxen, PA. Winter eagles frequent the Lackawaxen River and the confluence at the Zane Grey access due to ice free conditions and abundance of food. (Click for larger version)