May 15, 2014

Eagles Hatch... and Merlin encounter

Executive Director Iain MacLeod confirmed that the Bald Eagle pair on Squam Lake has successfully hatched at least one chick this year. This is exciting news, after last year’s failure. Many of you will recall that in April 2013 during a 24-hour long ice storm, the eagle pair were forced to give up incubation just a couple weeks short of hatching. This year, the eagles built a new nest in a large pine tree on the north edge of Long Island. They got a later start than usual, but were incubating eggs by April 1. Iain watched from Deephaven Point (thanks RDC for access) with his powerful spotting scope and confirmed that the female eagle was feeding at least one eaglet. It’s possible there are more chicks, but only one little white head was visible.

While watching, Iain was also able to make observations on the local pair of nesting Merlins. For the last several years, at least one pair of Merlins has nested on the Rockywold Camp property. The male Merlin perched near Iain allowing him to snap this photo on his phone through his scope. Shortly after the photo was taken, the male flew down to the rocks on the shore of the lake and recovered a cached prey item (a male Cape May Warbler), which he quickly plucked, partially-consumed and then brought to the female who was sitting on their nest nearby.

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