by Roland D. Hallee
Sitting with close friends all over a camp hearth a even though back again, a person of the neighbors said, that when kayaking that afternoon, she experienced seen a Golden eagle. I right away chimed in that they were being an endangered species, and have been not recognized to exist in Maine (according to a little something I experienced go through several years ago).
The adhering to day, even though having a boat journey all over Webber Pond with some pals who are calendar year-round residents on the pond, he requested if we had observed the Golden eagles. That did it.
Was it achievable for Golden eagles to exist on Webber Pond. My pal went on to say he experienced witnessed them on the ice through the winter season, really devouring some fish that experienced been left on the ice by fishermen.
To show his place, he steered the get together boat toward the west shore of Webber Pond, the place, higher in the best of a tree, was this substantial nest, occupied by some instead massive birds. We had been not ready to discern what was occupying the nest from that distance. Bald eagles were being circling in the space. I was nonetheless not sold.
Properly, research taught me that Golden eagles, one of the major and fastest of raptors in North America, do exist in Maine, even though a rarity, largely to the west and north of Moosehead Lake. So, now are they transferring east in our state? Maine hosts golden eagles in all seasons, but is currently on the edge of both equally the breeding and wintering range in the East. Most migrants in the East go west of Maine. Really number of golden eagles are in the point out at any time of 12 months.
Golden eagles, Equila chrysaetos, can be located during the northern hemisphere. A large populace exists in the western Rockies and north into Alaska. In the east, a small breeding population occurs in Maine, Labrador and Québec Province, despite the fact that its vary is drastically decreased from its former extent down the Appalachians to North Carolina.
In accordance to Cornell College Lab of Ornithology, Golden eagle populations surface to have been stable involving 1966 and 2014. Companions in Flight estimates their worldwide breeding population to be 300,000, with 35 p.c paying out some portion of the yr in the U.S.
Golden eagles are shown as an endangered species in Maine. The decline in their quantities is specifically attributed to environmental contaminants, specially DDT, that triggered reproductive impairment all through the submit Entire world War II era. Even though these contaminants are now banned, they continue to persist in the birds’ bodies. Maine’s golden eagles rely intensely on wading birds as prey, which experienced high amounts of contaminants. 5 useless golden eagles have been located considering the fact that 1985. Golden eagle eggs recovered from a nest in 1996 showed substantial levels of DDE, a variant of DDT.
Golden eagle populations have declined in the east through the 20th century, and ended up extirpated 20-40 many years in the past in the eastern states. Only 10 nesting territories have been documented with certainty, but at the very least 18 a lot more locations are suspected. 6 profitable nesting makes an attempt ended up recorded at a few Maine eyries [nests of birds of prey] from 1955-1967. Goldens disappeared from Oxford, Franklin and Somerset counties for the duration of the 1980s. The last known nesting pair in Maine existed until eventually 1999, then disappeared completely. That pair was heavily contaminated and experienced not created younger considering that 1986.
Nowadays, Golden eagles can fall prey to collisions with cars, wind turbines, and other structures or from electrocution at electrical power poles. Urbanization, agricultural enhancement and improvements in wildfire regimes have compromised nesting and looking grounds.
There have been sporadic sightings of Golden eagles in current many years, and it is hoped that particular person eagles from Canada may well be going into previously unoccupied eyries. Counts at hawk view sites look to point out the Japanese populace is little by little recovering. Golden eagles even now nest in Québec and Labrador. As a result, they are noticed annually in Maine through migration season.
Older people might reside 15 – 20 a long time in the wild, despite the fact that they have been regarded to stay 46 yrs in captivity. The oldest recorded Golden eagle in the wild was at least 31 many years, 8 months outdated when it was located in Utah in 2012.
After I was practically persuaded the two mates thought they had seen golden eagles, I requested if they experienced misidentified immature bald eagles, which resemble every single other. Equally advised me the birds they observed were being a great deal larger sized than bald eagles. My skepticism continues. Golden eagle wingspans can increase up to 6 toes, with a 40-inch physique, and can weigh 8 – 13 kilos. Bald eagles have a human body size of up to 40 inches, with wingspans of 6 – 7.5 toes, and a system weight of concerning 6.5 – 14 lbs .. Quite a few sources say the bald eagle has from time to time been deemed the biggest legitimate raptor in North The united states, outsizing the Golden eagle. I summary, Bald eagles are much larger than Golden eagles.
Golden eagles are uniformly brown through their lives. They get their title from amber or golden highlights on the head and neck. Golden eagles have shorter hawk-like payments, their reduce legs are feathered to the ankles, and they soar with somewhat uplifted wings, whereas a bald eagle flies with its wings stretched straight out so you can see their “fingers.” Golden eagles continue to be with the similar mate for life. The feminine is much larger than the male, otherwise, they glimpse equivalent.
Sightseers and photographers really should remain absent from the nest during the nesting period, which is February by way of August. Like bald eagles, golden eagles are disturbed by human activities close to the nests. Humans really should avoid the nests throughout the nesting period.
Wintering regions for Maine golden eagles can extend to the Maritime Provinces, dependent on the availability of meals. Their typical diet regime is composed of ground squirrels, marmots, ptarmigan and seabirds.
I’m even now not convinced they noticed Golden eagles on Webber Pond.
Roland’s trivia concern of the week:
Who retains the Boston Purple Sox career file for being hit by a pitch, Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis or Jim Rice?
Solution can be located in this article.
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