Rehabilitated Bald Eagle Released on Island in Squam Lake
HOLDERNESS, N.H. -- A juvenile bald eagle was released into the wild on a Squam Lake island today by N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers and wildlife rehabilitator Maria Colby of Wings of the Dawn Bird Sanctuary in Henniker.
Conservation Officer Christopher Brison rescued the injured bird in August of this year. It was found with a broken leg near its nest on Long Island in Squam Lake. A concerned island property owner on Squam reported the injured bird and helped Fish and Game reach the island by boat. Brison brought the rescued eagle to the Squam Lakes Science Center, which then relayed the bird to be rehabilitated by Maria Colby at the Wings of the Dawn Bird Sanctuary. It is not known how the young eagle was injured, but it may have fallen out of the nest or had a rough landing while learning to fly.
CO Brison, Fish and Game Sergeant Brad Morse and wildlife rehabilitator Maria Colby travelled by boat to Long Island this morning (October 10, 2014) to release the bird near its nest.
"We're glad to have played a positive role in rescuing this bird, so it could be restored to its healthy state and returned to the wild today," said Brison.
In its summary of the 2014 New Hampshire Bald Eagle breeding season, N.H. Audubon reported earlier this year:
"This spring marked the 27th breeding season in the post-DDT recovery era for New Hampshire's bald eagles. Since a sub-adult pair first returned to reoccupy an historic nesting tree at Leonard Pond on Umbagog Lake back in the late 1980s, our state's bald eagle population - once classified as federally endangered, currently still listed as state-threatened - has been rebounding
"Over the last decade, this population growth has been extremely robust, doubling roughly every 5 years - 10 territorial pairs in 2005, 22 territorial pairs in 2010, and 41 territorial pairs in 2014!
The confirmation of a total of 41 territorial pairs in N.H. in 2014 set a new state record-high for the post-DDT era. NH Audubon staff and volunteer eagle observers documented incubation by 27 (66%) of the state's 41 pairs. One-third of known New Hampshire pairs were not confirmed to have incubated eggs this year, which may be due to several factors, including early nest abandonment due to ill-timed snow events, and to new or inexperienced pairs connecting late in the 2014 season. Of this year's 27 incubating pairs, 24 (89%) were successful in fledging at least one young.
"The 24 successful nests also is a new post-DDT era high mark for New Hampshire. A record-high total of 41 young fledged in N.H. in 2014, an average of 1.52 young fledged per nesting pair and 1.00 young fledged per territorial pair. Both of these figures are above the state's 27-year averages of 1.33 fledged per nesting pair and 0.94 young fledged per territorial pair.
"NH now has bald eagles nesting in all three far-flung corners of the state - from Pittsburg to New Castle to Hinsdale. Perhaps nowhere is the growth of the eagle population more obvious than in the Lakes Region, where 11 territorial pairs now scattered between Newfound Lake in Hebron and Province Lake in Wakefield produced a total of 14 fledglings in 2014. That same geographical area only hosted only one known nest (Squam Lake) a decade ago. Two Lakes Region eagle pairs (Squam and Round Island on Winnipesaukee) produced three fledglings apiece in 2014, the only 3-chick nests documented in the state this year.
"Other highlights in 2014 included the first successful nesting on the Merrimack River north of Concord, confirmation of a new territory south of Concord near the Bow Power Plant, and the post-fledging discovery of a successful pair on the Connecticut River in Piermont."
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