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Bald eagles spotted in Halifax MA


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Bald eagles spotted in Halifax MA ; numbers on rise

Bald eagles spotted in Halifax MA; numbers on rise

By Matt Stout

Enterprise Staff Writer

Posted Jan 30, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

Last update Jan 30, 2011 @ 04:26 PM

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Paul Holmes

HALIFAX — With a fresh coat of snow blanketing the shores of Monponsett Pond on Thursday, Paul Holmes figured it a perfect photo opportunity for next season’s Christmas cards.

Even better, where the water opens into a picturesque scene on the Halifax pond’s east banks, waterfowl sometimes roam.

Holmes spotted something, but this was no waterfowl.

“I happened to see this good-sized bird,” the 67-year-old Plympton resident said. “I didn’t know what it was at the time. He was feasting on something.

“Then he reared his head and you can see the white on his head. I said, ‘Geez, that’s a bald eagle.’”

The sight of an American bald eagle in Massachusetts is both rare and exciting. But the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is thrilled that it’s not as uncommon as it once was.

Officials announced earlier this month that MassWildlife’s annual wintering bald eagle survey documented a state-record 107 birds, nearly double that of a decade ago.

A product of the state’s eagle restoration program instituted in the 1980s, there are 32 nesting pairs in Massachusetts, including at the Assawompsett Pond complex in Lakeville.

The rise in numbers makes sighting likes Holmes’ more common but no less special.

“It’s a great wildlife restoration success story,” said Energy and Environmental affairs spokeswoman Catherine Williams. “The eagles are really thriving here in Massachusetts.”

Holmes actually saw a pair of eagles, but he didn’t realize it until “a guy came up from behind me and said, ‘Are those bald eagles?’”

“I didn’t even see the second one come in, I was so focused in on the first,” said Holmes, adding he saw them again in the same area Friday morning.

Marion Larson, a biologist with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said it’s possible the pair Holmes observed was migratory, possibly from Canada or northern New England.

There tends to be more bald eagles in the state during the winter because “Massachusetts is considered Florida for some birds.”

Imagine South Beach – with a 6-foot snow drift.

“The young birds, immature birds or maybe there’s an adult that lost a mate, they may move up and down the Eastern Seaboard freely,” Larson said.

While bald eagles were removed from the national endangered species list in July 2007, they remain on the Massachusetts list. But there’s been definite progress.

“And it’s possible there’s getting to be so many birds, it’s harder to find out where all of the nests are,” Larson said. “If (people) see eagles with sticks in their talons (in the spring), it indicates they are building nests and setting up housekeeping.”

The eagles have come a long way since 1979, when only eight statewide were surveyed.

“But,” Holmes said, “it’s not everyday you see bald eagles.”

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Paul Holmes

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Paul Holmes

Copyright 2011 The Patriot Ledger. Some rights reserved

source:

Copyright 2011 The Patriot Ledger.

http://www.patriotledger.com/features/x148...s-on-rise?img=1

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they have actually started showing up around my area too. i saw one above my house one day i was like HOLY JESUS A BALD EAGLE! my mom didn't believe me at first but she came out and saw it too. pretty badass. bunnies in my area dont know what hit em!

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I have never seen one before but from what I hear there a darn big bird right?

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I feel like I'm weird because we see bald eagles in our parts all the time aha. Not so much in the city but I spend plenty of time outside of town and they're everywhere. I used to go fishing with my Grandpa all the time and you see them everyday. And when I worked just this side of International Falls (About as far North in MN as you can get), well, you literally see them EVERYWHERE. I must be just odd :D but they're still a beautiful sight over a frozen waterfall... wish I'd have some pictures of that because I've seen it ;)

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I have never seen one before but from what I hear there a darn big bird right?

yea pretty damn big. i know its just because they have been made into an icon, but when you see one, for me anyways, it just kinda stops you in your tracks. very cool birds

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I love bald eagles. Probably my favorite animal. I have seen some up in Michigan. There is a fishery and a few hundred yards from the gates where they que up the salmon there is an eagles nest where during the spawn season there are hundreds of salmon stacked up and you can watch the eagles swoop down and grab 2-3 foot fish!

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they have actually started showing up around my area too. i saw one above my house one day i was like HOLY JESUS A BALD EAGLE! my mom didn't believe me at first but she came out and saw it too. pretty badass. bunnies in my area dont know what hit em!

they fly far when hunting, their nest is on Randal rd in North Aurora by Mooseheart farm. there is a mommy , a daddy and a baby chilling in there.

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I was just sitting in traffic about 15 minutes ago on my way home and one flew off the side of the bridge I was sitting on and was about 2 feet away from landing on my hood until I stepped on the gas.... haha. True story. They're everywhere in the North Country. But correct, very beautiful bird.

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