The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) has documented over 70 active eagle nests throughout Massachusetts this spring, marking a dramatic uptick in newly documented eagle nests this year. It has confirmed nine new nests in Fitchburg, Wenham, Concord, Rutland, Wareham, Medford, Northampton, Hudson and Barnstable. The new Barnstable nest marks the first nest with eggs on Cape Cod in 115 years; the last was in Sandwich in 1905.
According to MassWildlife, “More and more people across the Commonwealth are experiencing the thrill of seeing eagles in their own neighborhoods as these birds continue to expand their range to urban and suburban landscapes. Due to successful conservation measures, the status of the bald eagle recently improved from threatened to special concern on the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act list.”
Massachusetts’ neighboring state of New Hampshire confirmed a new state record for its oldest bald eagle, a bird that hatched in Massachusetts, according to MassWildlife.
“This eagle, identified by a gold leg band coded “W84”, was photographed this spring in New Hampshire. Banding records indicate this 23-year-old male hatched at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware in 1997 and it had been recorded nesting in New Hampshire between 2007 and 2014. The previous NH record holder was a 19-year-old bird that had also hatched in Massachusetts. It is safe to say that the eagle reintroduction program that MassWildlife conducted in the 1980s has not only reaped benefits in Massachusetts, but throughout New England.
Please support the conservation of bald eagles and other rare species in Massachusetts by reporting sightings and donating to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.