Speaking of Eagles

June 30, 2012

by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager


While I was on the Delaware Sojourn, Don Hamilton of the National Park Service, did a presentation on the Bald Eagles in the Delaware River Valley.  We watched a nest from an island some distance away as he spoke.  He told us that breeding pairs had a territory of roughly 5 river miles.  I found that pretty interesting. 

I often see Bald Eagles as I paddle my canoe between Easton and Riegelsville.  Spending time on the Towpath, the River, or even Mariton’s overlooks is a good way to see an Eagle.  Your odds are increased at this time of year, because the young are off the nest and adults are still mentoring them.

Another amazing number:  the Pennsylvania Game Commission knows of 206 active Bald Eagle nests this spring. Thirty years ago, they started an Eagle Recovery Project because there were so few nesting eagles in the state.  Now there are eagles nesting in 51 of the 67 counties.  That is a wildlife management success story for the books.  Thanks to the Clean Water Act, the banning of DDT, and a great fishery, the Bald Eagle has made a healthy return to our watershed.