Thursday, January 17, 2008

Massachusetts Eagle Count: 71

Wildlife officials counted 71 bald eagles across the state yesterday, including this one in Amesbury. (DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF)

Boston Herald: State to conduct annual census of bald eagle population

BOSTON - Wildlife officials and volunteers have spotted 71 bald eagles along state waterways during the annual count of the once-endangered birds.

That’s up from 48 birds counted in Massachusetts a year ago during the one-day, nationwide survey.

The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife says the sighting of 27 juvenile bald eagles Wednesday is a good sign.

The biggest number of eagles, 36, were seen during a helicopter survey of the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown. Other sites surveyed include the Merrimack River in Newburyport and two ponds in Lakeville.

Wildlife officials say the state’s all-time high was 76 eagles counted in 1998. Only eight eagles were spotted during the first statewide survey in 1979. The population had fallen because of habitat loss, bounty hunting and reproductive failure linked to pesticides.

Boston Globe: Eagles soaring across Bay State

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