Update on What the Eagles are Up To     October 2016
written by Rod Gillespie

We have had the pleasure of spending the last few years living on Branch Lake and enjoying all the wild life it presents. Along with the Loons, Cormorants,Osprey and ducks there are two resident bald eagles that have a nest on Teachers Island at the northern end of the lake. My wife Kathy and I have motored by countless times in our pontoon boat checking the nest for Eaglets every spring and thru out the summer.

This pair typically have two Eaglets yearly but about four years ago there were three which was quite a sight and is some what rare, but in the spring of 2015 there was only one Eaglet at the nest. Later that summer I noticed a small antenna on the back of the smaller of the two adult Bald Eagles when it flew low by our dock and another time this eagle sitting on a branch near their nest I could see with binoculars a small transmitter on its back and a red band on its left leg so I contacted Avian Haven in Freedom and they forwarded my questions to a researcher at the University of Massachusetts. According to the researcher this was a male Bald Eagle that was captured near sand beach, transmitter attached, banded and released for a habitat study on bald eagles in Maine in collaboration with the USFWS, Maine IFW and BRI. In late October of 2015 this male eagle left the area and the female stayed behind at the lake.

In mid December in the water on our shore I could see something black and white floating in the water. It was a dead bald eagle, this eagle was banded as well and no GPS transmitter, I called the Maine Fish and Wildlife Service and a Game Warden came and told me he would take the eagle to a facility in Bangor where all the dead bald eagles are sent in Maine and they in turn are shipped to a facility in Colorado that distributes them to native Americans who use the feathers for spiritual reasons. The warden was to let me know the specifics on the death of the bald eagle but I have no report as of yet.

 

The original male bald eagle with the transmitter did not return to his mate until the spring in April 2016 and as a result there were no Eaglets in the nest this year. In mid May this male eagle once again left the area and has been gone all summer into fall and as a result another male bald eagle moved into the area and has been courting the female and I might add, to no avail. She will have nothing to do with this male and we have seen her knock this male eagle off the tree branch many times but he always keeps returning to sit near her. The original male Eagle with the transmitter according to the last report I have as of late September has the GPS signal located just southwest of St. John New Brunswick and he appears to be headed back this way so hopefully he is returning to his mate which could be interesting with two male bald eagles at the same lake. So maybe with a little luck from mother nature we will once again have some baby eagles hanging out on Teachers Island. I will keep you posted.