Friday, June 15, 2007

That's Some Big Baby!

Worcester Telegram: Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game Mary Griffin and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles pose with the eaglet.

Worcester Telegram: Video of the eagle banding

Update: Another video, this one from WBZ, who had a camera on the guy who climbed the tree, so you can see the eaglet sitting in the nest.

Worcester Telegram: Bands all here for the eagles

It’s always risky to drop in unannounced on a new family.

Pushing the envelope is when about 25 people converge on a small submarine-shaped island to view the only offspring of the first pair of eagles to have successfully nested at Wachusett Reservoir. Wednesday was the coming out party for the 4-week-plus-old eaglet who was removed from its nest and fitted with two metal leg bands that give it unique identifiers that will help track it the rest of its life.

The adult eagles took the whole affair in stride. They circled the island from time to time, but kept a distant and silent vigil. Left to deal with the humans on his own, junior proved to be a really good sport. For those of us on the island, there was more than a little drama, a dose of education and a rare chance to share a moment of pride with the state agency personnel that have helped restore the bald eagle population in Massachusetts.

Resembling a mini beaver hut, the eagle’s nest was cradled near the end of a bend formed by new growth at the top of a 60-foot white pine tree. The whole configuration leaned into the 15-mile-an-hour northeast blow churning up the reservoir on Wednesday morning.

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